Year of Firsts – Joseph Kerschbaum

harvest moon bathes the world in cold light
similar to other years but this is different

autumnal equinox balances on the horizon’s edge
ushers in the vibrant bloom of decay
these reds, yellows sway & descend
as expected & this moon is nothing new
I am unable to be overwhelmed

open receptors the senses crackle & hum
as if experiencing everything for the first time
unable to breathe as the onslaught
of the astonishing world steamrolls over me

breathtaking all the other relentless
beautiful annual occurrences
we have to endure
during the next 365 days
after your death is exhausting
feels like they could go on forever
since you are gone forever
but I know somehow it won’t

someday in my casual neglect
the moon will be full & blue
but this won’t be monumental
maybe I won’t even notice
the seasons exchanging daylight
on a mundane Wednesday
& you’ll be just as gone
as any other day

Joseph KerschbaumJoseph Kerschbaum’s most recent publications include Mirror Box (Main St Rag Press, 2020) and Distant Shore of a Split Second (Louisiana Literature Press, 2018). Joseph has been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Indiana Arts Commission. His work has appeared in journals such as failbetter, Panoply, Umbrella Factory, The Battered Suitcase, and The Delinquent. Joseph lives in Bloomington, Indiana with his family. You can visit to learn more.