The moon was so breathtaking last night that I was compelled to get out my dusty Nikon and take a photo.
I didn’t look at that photo until today, when I uploaded it onto my computer. I was startled by what I noticed, because it wasn’t what I had intended to capture.
The moon was blurry in the background, which disappointed me. In the foreground, clear and crisp, were branches framing the moon. As I looked at these branches, I became increasingly uncomfortable, like I was standing in a changing room with a relative who began to undress.
The branches were actually reaching towards the moon, they were not framing it. They were grabbing and clutching the surrounding empty air. “Take me. Take me.” They were calling to the moon.
They were begging the dark and light and night, screaming and twisting and coiling as if in agony. It was an image of something private, an event that would be shameful to the branches had they known I had witnessed it.
I would have felt ashamed if anyone had seen me see it.
My skin began to crawl and itch. I scratched it until it bled and the blood flowed and created a little puddle around my feet. The tears I cried mixed with the blood. What was blood now? Which were tears? What was skin? Where was earth?
Tonight, I will go back to the spot where I took the photo, but I am afraid. I am afraid that the branches have expelled their limbs, have purged their leaves, have silently and futilely screamed to a moon that never answered.
I’ll see if they now lay in a dead mess on the ground, and if so, I'll burn the remains.