The Moon and Mona Lisa

Jan Lee Ande

Your sweet face hangs bruised in the night sky.
You breathe deeply and tides rise. The holy week
of women draws near.

One summer I slept outside on soft new grass
and learned to touch myself from a moon-eyed boy.
You stared down from the sea of tranquillity.

I could run these fingers over your face, stroke
the pockmarked mounds, smooth land fine as silt.
My fingertips would tap out the secrets of you.

Your craters and seas talk to us across space.
If we think of you as dead, it must be our own
emptiness we tell of.

Behind the face that swells or dwindles to a lopsided
grin, a dark side we do not see, and beyond-
the smoldering light of stars.

Jan Lee Ande’s books of poetry are Instructions for Walking on Water (Ashland Poetry Press, 2001) and Reliquary (Texas Review Press, 2003). Her work has appeared in many fine journals including New Letters, Notre Dame Review, Nimrod, and Poetry International.