Everything Breaks Up

1. Moon and Ocean

And the night came, The Moon, waxing its gibbous,
grew vexed at the lack of us looking up in awe and
knew its shine had waned and what it had to do.

The Ocean knew too: cancelled fish school classes,
many jelly crystalized in nervous anticipation while
the rest of its inner-life—the coral even, the water

softened to listen but found itself jumping in first:
“You’re not shining! I can’t…see your reflection on
my skin anymore. I can’t see myself without you…”

The Ocean gulped, a panicked ripple unhinging its
stilled multitudes. “You’re self-absorbed,” The Moon
just said. “WADYAMEAN?! Everything else holds me!

Your light did…” The Ocean retorted, knowing that’s
not what Moon meant. “You’re a drain.” “I’m water!
“I love you.” “You do?” “But I don’t want to anymore.”

And The Moon released its first burst of shine in tens
of cycles while The Ocean sunk deeper in its wallowing
and over time The Ocean sunk deeper in its wallowing.

2. You and I

Somewhere in yet another phone call we both knew
we’d both regret you said“Everyone—every thing
breaks up. That’s life.” And I thought: We’re not

everyone…Walking to the liquor store after, I noticed
this barely visible waxing gibbous just before going
in for my 32 ounce Pabst, imagined that moon had

just called it quits with its favorite dance partner
and the tides wouldn’t find another if my parents
never had. It was the first time I bought vodka.

I asked the cashier could he break a one. He asked
if I wanted quarters. I said I want my ex. He looked
at me like whatever was on the TV was on the TV…

Back in my room, googling moon-phases, sleep and
vomit swirling at the bottom of that flask, I gripped
my mattress like that playground wheel best-friend

kids spin each other too fast on, sure the mechanism
or they are coming loose. The ceiling splintered. I
swore I would never call again—you will be happier,

I won’t be any worse…thought of the first promise
when I finally agreed to us after moon-cycles walking
the length of our town at two in the morning afraid

to wake up next to someone I already loved more
than the last savior. I decided to stay. Not the night—
in my life, in our wake, I wouldn’t let our big bang

flat-line my tides, wouldn’t be a thing that breaks up
if you don’t hold the pin in the grenade in my gut,
calling us moon and ocean, calling when you only

want to move on, when you already have, when what
we had wasn’t celestially special but real as fuck. I’m
not the ocean. I’m a man who grew enough with you

to let go.


Abe Becker

About Abe Becker

Abe Becker has represented the Bay Area at seven National Poetry Slam competitions. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in Abbreviate Journal, Sweet Wolverine, Tandem, and Cal Literature and Arts Magazine. A collection of his work entitled Caterwaul of the Post Posterior North American Indoors and Other Dumped Poems is set to be published by Lucky Bastard Press in 2016. Abe has previously self-published two chapbooks: Saturday’s Lunch Entrée and The Unique One Climbs The Mountain. He is also the author of the plays: Sex Without Touching and The Taming of Christophero Sly. Currently Abe makes the big bucks caretaking for the president of the film club at UC Berkeley who is quadriplegic. Two of his three desert island items would be cats and coffee.
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