“Swimming to the Moon” by Steve DeFrance

Tonight my fingers stiffly stumble across

my keyboard as my mind is repulsed,

as I am frightened of this task, as I am afraid

of the pain of thought, as my spirit fills & trembles

with the mystery in words.

Words that once flashed

in the eyes of the dying,

words that fade into a wet cough,

words brushing past the living

with silken lips as cold as marble,

their frightened gasps merge into darkness.

Ancient images tumble into my mind, I pass the

rough tips of my short fingers across my

damp forehead—very carefully as I

rehearse for my passage to the moon,

knowing all of us will have to make this swim

through skin and blood and memories.







Steve DeFrance is a widely published poet, playwright, and essayist both in America and Great Britain.  In England, he won a Reader’s Award in Orbis Magazine for his poem “Hawks.”  In the United States, he won the Josh Samuels’ Annual Poetry Competition (2003) for his poem “The Man Who Loved Mermaids.”  His play The Killer had it’s world premiere at the Garage Theatre in Long Beach, California (Sept-October 2006).  He has received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Chapman University for his writing.