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Under A Rabbit Moon
by Tomi Shaw

When you’re dating a guy and when he says something that just makes your skin itch and you think I have to do something here, this isn’t right, I HAVE to be able to somehow change his mind and you take his hand and you walk out onto your porch and you look up at the moon, the one that will be orange and full come Halloween, and you stand in front of him, take his hands and wrap them around your waist and you tell him to look at that fat moon a sliver from being full and you tell him in your softest voice, the one without your hick accent, the one you put dreams into, the one that is a whisper but isn’t, and you tell him “see that moon. You know where it was shining four hours ago, eight hours ago, twelve hours ago?”

His answer is something vague, like the feel of his hands on your hips as he slips his hands out of your grasp, his answer is “Somewhere on the other side of the world.”

I let his hands go and find their way into his pockets as I slip my own hands into my own pockets, but I keep trying. “What do you see? Can you see the face of the man in the moon?”

“I see a rabbit.”

“What do you think the people on the other side of the world see when they stare up into the sky?”

He’s not having any of it. “Probably their God, the one telling them to kill all of us. I’m cold.”

Yes you are, I think but say nothing cause what difference is it going to make anyway. I let him go back inside and I stand there and watch my breath swirl into the darkness. I know I could go back into the house and make a stand, I’ve done it before, tell him that people are people, everywhere. That there was a couple standing staring at the moon sometime earlier that day and one of them asked the same questions and one of them had the same response, but on another knoll another couple asks and agree on the right answer. I have to start singing and it doesn’t matter that I can’t carry a tune in a big old bucket, and it doesn’t matter what words I utter, it just matters that I’m singing. And somehow I know that four hours ago, eight hours ago, even twelve hours ago, someone else maybe many someones stood in the night, under a moon almost full, and sang a song where words didn’t matter, tone didn’t matter, it was simply about and will always be about the sound, our music, a human symphony.

Tomi Shaw lives in Kentucky, late of the woods but now in the big city lights. She loves the sound of rain tat-tattering on a tin roof. Summer weekends finds her at the drag strip in a bittersweet-colored Mustang, cutting killer reaction times and putting guys on the trailer home. Her work has appeared in The Barcelona Review, storySouth, Absinthe Literary Review, Penthouse and elsewhere. Visit her website.


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