Instead what happened
was more like the way we once came to this continent
seeing nothing of value in the lives of the people here
and ruined them and their world,
like a renegade cell invading another
(though I want to believe the cancer cell obeys laws
even if they are still beyond our understanding).

Our earth-probe succeeded
in breaking through the moon’s defenses
destroying forever what it was,
but opening a path for settlers,
colonies of infection, the beginning of life.

And if it is not yet a living world in our sense,
(though what in the universe is dead: It is all alive),
we have sent the germ cells of our biosystem
to start multiplying there.
Even now air seeds are growing
an atmosphere like ours.

If the moon was an egg
and the astronauts sperm-germs burrowing in
and if we chose them right for the task
(which I doubt, all white and macho as they are,
with those degenerate vibrations),
even so, it may be the beginning of a new planet.

And when it is ready to be on its own,
to search for its own orbit,
what great wrenching away is ahead for it, and us,
and dislocations of the stars
tidal waves and firestorms on earth,
repeating the destruction of continents
when the moon was born like a baby from our oceans.

What was begun—and it began long ago,
the necessity for a moon—
must continue to the end, everything always does.
And we’ll go on sitting as long as we can,
glued to our TV sets,
watching it all.

This Issue

July 18, 1974