Whoever You Are by Will Cordeiro

The moon stares at the illusion of itself on the ice. But this is only an image, the moon thinks, and not the true me. The ice will melt. A moon will swell and wane. And clouds—those passing, pearlescent, and imponderable veils—will intrude in the chasm between us. Or perhaps all things are satellites, are clouds of a sort: the moon, the ice, and the self which breathes so many invisible atoms in and out.

You have traveled through a dark forest, a forest rising from the leaves it deciphers. The moon’s old, pitted face snatches the sight of you through the branches.

It’s like a theater down there, after a show has finished, before the props have been broken down and packed up, the moon thinks.

Stand still, and you, whoever you are, will yet voyage through the world’s evanescence. The moon sees you walking the paths. Cloudbanks open, as if the earth were some fruit being peeled. Starbursts of flurries swivel in the wind. The seedheads of withered grasses tremble, peeking from the snow, which erases the lines between all the fields. The night, having no origin, pours onward to no end. I am everywhere with you, the moon contends, like a weather inside you; my gravity is a force that waxes and withers with the course of your blood. A light zeros each crystal in the soundless aura of air.

Your breath becomes visible one instant then fades. The moon leers down, leers down through all its phases until one night it’s just the nimbus of itself, a dim vacancy left lingering among the constellations. Nightlong, the empty trees keep whispering in their simple language.

You look and look your life away.


Will Cordeiro has work published in AGNI, Bennington Review, Best New Poets, Copper Nickel, DIAGRAM, The Threepenny Review, THRUSH, and elsewhere. Will won the 2019 Able Muse Book Award for Trap Street. Will is also coauthor of Experimental Writing: A Writer’s Guide and Anthology, forthcoming from Bloomsbury. Will coedits Eggtooth Editions and lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.