She hangs like a crooked brooch in a perfect, sable sky. Your fingers itch to straighten her, just so — a little more to the left, a little higher in the upper right-hand corner. Yes.

But then, there’s her disappointing light, that shade of curdled cream, so unlike the burnished yolk of her magnificent brother, Sun. Even the pale stars glimmer more elegantly, are more presentable than this disgrace of a moon.

Maybe she’s best covered up. Where’s that black silk shawl, the one that gleams like the night sky? The one you bought to wear to a certain artists’ soiree, just last week? Quick! Pull it out of its tissue paper bed, hold it up against the window, veil that sickly moon.

Ugh … wrong hue. It won’t do.

Maybe you’ll just close your eyes then, make that crooked moon, with her mottled grin, disappear. What’s she got to grin about anyway? Can’t hang straight, can’t shine right! Shameless, revealing that naked face!

The world needs beauty, elegance, gorgeousness! It’s a spiritual imperative — everyone knows that.

You pull out your perfect black dress from your cedar-lined closet, slip it on with sky-high heels, a narrow belt that gleams like the sun. Style your hair just so, a parabolic arc sweeping down the curve of your cheek, framing those Mont-Blanc cheek bones.

An unflinching hour in front of the mirror and your hair won’t do what it’s supposed to. Your jaw is irredeemably jowly; Audrey Hepburn you’re not. Lopsided. Like the moon with its brazen grin — tawdry as a trinket and just as out of place — hanging crookedly against that perfect, sable sky.

. . .

Abandoned mid-stroke, your painting breathes quietly in its dusty corner. Stranded on the shoals of a stuttering stanza, your poem blinks its transponder light through stormy dreams of perfection, navigating, navigating you home.

. . .