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When I was young and dreamy,
I longed to be a poet,
not one with his arms
wrapped around the universe
or on his knees before a goddess,
not waving from Mount Parnassus
nor wearing a cape like Lord Byron,
rather just reporting on a dog or an orange.

But one soft night in California
I walked outside during a party,
lay down on the lawn,
beneath a lively sky
and after an interlude of nonstop gazing,
I happened to swallow the moon,
yes, I opened my mouth in awe
and swallowed the full moon whole.

And the moon dwelled within me
when I returned to the lights of the party,
where I was welcomed back
with understanding and hilarity
and was recognized long into the night
as The Man Who Swallowed the Moon,
he who had walked out of a storybook
and was dancing now with a girl in the kitchen.