Lichen Glows in the Moonlight

by John Kinsella

Read by John Graves

Lichen glows in the moonlight
so fierce only cloud blocking
the moon brings relief. Then passed by,
recharged it leaps up off rocks
and suffocates—there is no route
through rocks without having to confront
its beseeching—it lights the way,
not the moon, and outdoes epithets
like phosphorescent, fluorescent, or florescent:
it smirks and smiles and lifts the corner
of its lips in hideous or blissful collusion,
and birds pipe an eternal dawn, never knowing
when to sleep or wake. They might
be tricked into thinking their time’s up,
in the spectrum of lichen, its extra-gravital
persuasion, its crackling movement
remembered as still, indifferent, barely
living under the sun, or on a dark night;
climbing up you’d escape, but like all great
molecular weights it leaves traces
you carry with you into the realms
           of comfort and faith.