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Luna, our beloved crescent,
you swell until you are full enough
to hang heavy against the horizon
like the breast of a pregnant woman.

You will be the first we settle,
our laboratory to test survival
on other stones that fill the sky and
telescopes. How could we resist touching you?

Will you shudder with pleasure
beneath our fingertips, or recoil
at the machines and metallic intrusions,
the rivets and girders of our civilization?

You have been our goddess
since before the dawn of history.
Now we will bring you atmosphere
and mark you with our scent.

We have always been inseparable.
Now we will be close.

This poem appears in the collection Inner Planets: 50 Poems by Matthew Howard. Available in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook.