Exactly how it is



When Mount Everest was measured in 1856
it was discovered to be 29,000 feet exactly.
But since no one would have believed the figure,

sounding as it does too much like something
rounded off, two extra feet were found,
invented out of thin air, the thinnest on earth,

and added to the mountain’s top
to provide the appearance of precision.
Twenty-nine thousand and two.

So too, tonight, a cloud has passed
before the moon in such a way
that were I able to describe it

exactly how it is, no one would believe me.
Which is why I need two extra feet of moonlight,
or dark cloud, or to be fair, one foot each.

Taylor Mali, “The Moon Exactly How it is Tonight”

This poem feels like how I’ve felt in the last month–like were I to describe everything that happened and is happening, exactly as it is, no one would believe me. So I describe bits and pieces of it to different people, rounding off the truth to make it more believable and digestible, which is exciting and lonely at the same time.

Poem: via Orpheus Melted the Heart of Persephone.

Photos: Trinity Church on Kazbek Mountain in Georgia, and a full moon rising over Mount Kazbek. Both photos by me.


One thought on “Exactly how it is

  1. UM November 26, 2012 / 4:15 am

    Thank you for sharing the bits and pieces. It sounds pretty good even with two extra feet.
    But I also want to say go ahead and try telling me. I might just believe exactly how exactly wonderful it really is.


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