Moon Child

We drank Tang, just like the astronauts,

but stopped short of breakfasting

on freeze-dried eggs. Saturdays,

Dad melted Crisco in the fryer,

dropped little meteors of batter

into the bubbles, served up fritters

with real maple syrup. Sixties kids

had it made in the shade— all-day freedom

on banana-seat bikes, Oscar Meyer

bologna sandwiches eaten on the fly,

Nestle’s chocolate chips folded

into Toll House cookie dough by Mom,

a June Cleaver clone except that she wore

capris instead of a dress, and hair statuesque

in an eight-inch beehive. Her Max Factor lipstick—

Electric Pink— always freshly applied,

the house swept, dusted, and promptly at 6,

martini’d. The family’s crisp white edges

began to curl at cocktail hour, threatened to tear

at dinner, the effort of kindness simply

too burdensome for our mission commander to bear.

As the Green Giant canned peas were passed

and the potato-chipped tuna noodle casserole

spooned out, one wrong word, an errant opinion,

an ill-timed sigh— and all planets ceased

rotation around the sun. I sat farthest away,

little brother too close. Little elbows on the table…

a big man can be a fast man. A spoon a weapon.

A woman, powerless. A moon child escapes

in her mind-made spaceship— rocketing away

to the lunar maria, their vast darkness

so perfect for hiding.



Ann Weil

Ann Weil is a past contributor to Burningword Literary Journal. Her most recent work appears in Maudlin House, Pedestal Magazine, DMQ Review, 3Elements Review, The Shore, and New World Writing Quarterly. Her chapbook, Lifecycle of a Beautiful Woman, debuted in April 2023 from Yellow Arrow Publishing. To read more of her poetry and flash fiction, visit

Helen Geld

Super Thread

Super Thread


Helen Geld

Helen Geld, a former graphic designer, now focuses on the creative process of photography and art.  Her photographic work expresses the beauty and mystery of antique objects.  Her work has appeared in such journals as Poppy Road Review, The Blue Hour, and most recently in Loud Coffee Press and Still Point Arts Quarterly.

Mission Report: El Eclipse de la Grande

La Manzanilla, Jalisco, Mexico, Thursday, July 11, 1991

10:50 am

I am writing in a thatched hut a half mile down the beach from the village. The surf crashes on the shore.


2 jugs agua pura

2 cameras


1 can chicken meat which tastes like dog food

1 can Vienna sausage which IS dog food

2 granola bars

1 can Herdez salsa


We have traveled here from Lubbock to witness the greatest full eclipse in decades, using an Eclipse Monitoring Station fashioned from a Johnnie Walker box with a hole cut in it. The hole is covered with foil from a cigarette pack, with a smaller hole poked via a safety pin in the foil. It’s a Camera Obscura, a pinhole camera. Jimbo read about this design someplace. He is a friend from high school and has joined as a Mission Specialist.  He wears a straw cowboy hat and a red Speedo. He has a portly frame.


11:00 am

We have not pinpointed what time El Eclipse will begin, having heard many different accounts. Mission Specialist Jimbo was supposed to be on this. One local said it would not occur here in this part of Mexico at all. We discounted his opinion immediately.

The man told us this last night as we sat at a table on the dirt street in front of a little store lit by a bare bulb. A large man with a cleaver, shirt open, was chopping pork on a board, then frying it in a pan over a propane flame.

“El carne?”  I said.

“Si, es porco. Taquitos.”

“Dos, por favor,” I said.

He fried the chopped pork and scooped it onto two steamed tortillas.

“Frijoles?” I asked.

He handed me a Tupperware bowl with cold beans floating in it. The taquitos were mas fina. I considered my potential disablement from the mission after consuming the frijoles.

12:45 pm

A hen with six chicks has disappeared from around the shack behind us. El Eclipse underway.

12:55 pm

Eating Herdez salsa out of a can. Smoking a cigarette, peering into Camera Obscura. The earth-rending blackness we expected has not yet materialized.


Sort of like a cloudy day at the beach.


The sky seems to be lightening up. A rooster crows behind us. I believe El Eclipse is over. Jimbo reports that the whole universe has now changed and that his fillings hurt while the spectacle was underway.

A long moment of silence, as the surf crashes.

“Mine, too.” I replied.


The next night, drinking pulque at Hermana Hortensia in Mexico City, Jimbo and I found an English-language newspaper, showing the path of El Eclipse.

We were several hundred miles off course, far from the dark zone, figuring that the moon was really big and would black out the whole country. As the mildly hallucinogenic pulque kicked in, we closed the mission, agreeing we are clueless specks of sand on the beach.


David Fowler

David Fowler has lived in New York, San Francisco, and on a ranch near Penelope, TX. He writes from journals kept during his travels and lives in Jackson, MS. This is his first published fiction.

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