Our father shot the moon with forty-fives
and somewhere, who knows where, his bullets rained.
Across the city other fools did the same,
as if they shared that unclaimed prize, that life
of shit-luck he gave back to the sky.
He sang in slurs, half-conscious, and remained
uncorked so long that he became afraid
and quiet. A silent anger blurred his eyes.
And yet he was the only god we knew,
and earned our daily alms. Who’s to say
riding bikes to buy him Marlboro blues
was not the blindest faith? So down he laid
in nightmare’s cradle, too messed up to move.
We prayed he slept. In us, he stays awake.

Christopher Beard received his PhD in English from the University of North Texas, where he also spent time as a Poetry Contest Coordinator and Assistant Poetry Editor for American Literary Review. His work has appeared in a number of literary magazines, but his most recent poems are found in Poet Lore, Off the Coast, and Kestrel. He currently lives with his wife in Austin, Texas, and is working toward publishing his first full length book.