Goodnight, Gibbous Moon: A Wake-up Story

Airea D. Matthews

In the great bleak room

there was a telephone

and a big buffoon

and a picture of a sheep

shooting up the moon

and there were three

heels of bread

asleep on the bed

and a half-plunged needle

and a flour-coated weevil

and past due tolls

and attic holes

and a storm and a funnel

and a windblown tunnel

and a bat and a shove

and the question of love

and a comb of kinked hair

and a frayed wicker chair

and the slowed steady crush

of all the elders insisting I hushhhh

Goodnight, Fog Room.

Goodnight, Gibbous Moon.

Goodnight, Heels of Bread.

Goodnight, Family Bed.

Goodnight, Needle.

Goodnight, Weevil.

Goodnight, Late Toll.

Goodnight, Roof Hole.

Goodnight, Storm Funnel.

Goodnight, Wind Tunnel.

Goodnight, Fierce Shove.

Goodnight, unLove.

Goodnight, Kinked Hair.

Goodnight, Wicker Chair.

Goodnight, Steadied Crush

And goodnight to the elders all whispering hushhhh.

Goodnight, Bat Savior.

Goodnight, Truth or dare.

Goodnight chaos everywhere.

Airea D. Matthews is the author of the poetry collections Bread and Circus and Simulacra, recipient of the 2016 Yale Series of Younger Poets Award. She is an assistant professor at Bryn Mawr College where she directs the poetry program.
Originally published:
May 24, 2023



Life in the Algorithm

It has reshaped culture—but how? Two new books reckon with our digital predicament.
Anna Shechtman

The Night Watch

I first sought sanctuary during the Troubles. I'm still looking for it.
Darran Anderson

Why I Write

The legendary cultural critic on finding a life’s work
Greil Marcus

You Might Also Like


Sign up for The Yale Review newsletter and keep up with news, events, and more.