My friend Dudley and I go to the book store for something to read. It’s open mic night. “How many poems can be recited about the moon and love massively unrequited?” Dudley muses. “When all you’re after on a Tuesday night is a little undisturbed browsing time in Science Fiction and/or Auto Repair, here they are, lined up behind the microphone (which isn’t on, by the way), mooning—Astrophels on the badness of love, its melancholia, its madness, its magnetism, its micro-aggressions.” I read it in thy looks (like he said, the mic is dead); / Thy languish’d grace, to me, that feel the like, thy state decries. “Languish’d grace, indeed. Why don’t they just leave the moon out of it?” Then Dudley steps to the mic. When what you’re after is a star / The moon gets you only so far. / Stella wants a rocket ship, / Or at least a fast car.
Illustration: Shreyaa Krritika Das