Inscription for the Surface
of the Moon

by Robert Wood Lynn

Hello this is America we invented
human flight & getting bored

of going to the moon we had the idea
for the lightbulb & so it appeared

over all our heads like an anvil
then we invented the television

the infomercial clapping
it on & clapping it off

which means we invented asking
to be slapped during sex

& then the lights all coming
on we invented the supermarket

& having no place to stand
in one without being in the way

we invented stores so large
we had to invent cell phones

to find each other inside
we invented so many kinds

of embarrassment of disappearing invented
making a name a profile

invented deleting it & sure
we didn’t invent sadness but the blues

oughta count we invented sex
lying & lying about sex if we didn’t

invent sex there was a time
that rock & roll looked the same

in silhouette besides we invented
the telephone so tell us

who invented phone sex
say it again but slower

you can tell us we didn’t invent death
but we’re not gonna wait around

for the world’s most
careful bomb to disagree

so no we didn’t invent
perfection but a man in Texas

named Goodenough invented
the lithium-ion battery

we didn’t invent loneliness
only seeing ourselves

in the black screen after
our battery dies mid-conversation

we invented the internet
the direct message the slide to get there

we didn’t invent remembering
how another tastes

just how we tell them about it
desperate & immediate

the only part that counts
good enough or almost so

the way just looking
at this moon will have to do

Published on September 8, 2022