Wednesday, 20 October 2021


This month's Moon Prize, the 84th, goes to Cynthia Anderson's poem "In the Naked City."

In the Naked City

by Cynthia Anderson

Sometimes orbits drift too close
and the objects they hold collide—
like the time years ago when I walked
the streets of New York far longer

than I should have. Exhausted,
desperate for a cab, I didn’t mean
to make eye contact with a tall,
homeless lunatic—a brother

from another planet disguised
in a long dark coat. He wove
through the sidewalk throng,
foiling my efforts to avoid him,

until he stood in front of me,
opened his arms, and locked
me in an embrace. The clock
stopped. In that long moment,

I found my voice and yelled,
LET GO. He did,
and I was borne away
by the crush of humanity—

what just happened
acknowledged by no one.

* * * * *

Cynthia Anderson has published ten poetry collections, most recently The Missing Peace (Velvet Dusk Publishing, 2021). Her poems frequently appear in journals and anthologies, and she is a Pushcart Prize and Best of the Net nominee. In 2020, she took up short form poetry and since then has been exploring haiku, senryu, cherita, and related forms. Cynthia is co-editor of the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows & Ravens. She makes her home in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park.

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