Donna wanted a physical poem: something mysterious and metaphorical about running if we were runners, or about not running if we were not. I am not a runner: I can sprint, and jog, but the thought of a marathon undoes me. Yoga and dancing are much more my style. Haven’t done a yoga poem in a while, either, so I thought this would be an opportune time. I used to hate, hate this pose, but I’ve warmed up to it considerably (especially now that I can actually do it without falling on my face). It really is beautiful and elegant once you get into it, and you always find yourself surprised when it’s time to let it go.
Ardha Candrāsana (Half Moon Pose)
We are all twisted into crooked H’s, spelling out
a long exhale with our silhouettes. All of the bones
brim out of one hip’s chalice, and fingertips
graze the ground. The other palm floats upward:
for that is the beauty of the pose, to freeze
one instant of celestial bodies rising in the night.
First, you must take the time to calculate
alignments, adjust accordingly. Only after that
can you allow the breastbone to become a wall,
strong as the lateral rook, geometric and always
breathing. At midnight, the moon’s zenith, when
it is a scarab jewel that can be held in the palm,
you turn your head to stare time in the face.
One good breeze might tumble us all down.
But until then, we inhale, remember the moon
reflecting the sun, exhale, know nothing more.