Melissa Ginsburg

Two poems from Melissa Ginsburg’s Doll Apollo

followed by a note on the author

The Faked Apollo Moon Landing

A perfect parabolic arc of dust
behind the rover’s wheels

binds me to you

the way you make things heavy
blow air into a space

already filled with air
the way you hide

your stars in the sky you flag
waving army

you scientists
with your answers


At the edge of the crater
starless black

multiple light
sources multiple

shadows the doubts
creep in

the sky behind me creeps
outside the viewfinder


The flag is waving the flag looks good
without gravity

yes it looks pretty good the astronauts
look good

the earth can’t
anymore contain its


bring your war out

from its shadows show it
the stars

show it the moon




Wolf god. Mouse god. God trapped in a mine. God of fields and
flowers. Of pastures and herds. Sheep god. Hunter and flayer.
Mouse god, feeder of snakes. Healer god, god of arrows and
oracles you will never figure out. God of colonies and the crying
rock. Unshorn god. Shining god of mice and islands.

Wolf of healing. God in the womb already frightening. Killer of
cyclops maker of lightning. God of moderation. Monster of light.
Tender protector. Hunter god liar god. Colonizing god, god of
ships leaving, of sun in the sky, of tunnels and holes, of sowing a
seed. Slayer of Python. God of the deal.

Farm god. Lover god. God of my sister Artemis goddess of that
sleek lens through which I look, the moon. God of ships and a
sun. Supplier god, contract god. Twin god and wave god.
Waving goodbye on the dock and the ship leaving god on a

God of the oracle stops. God of compromise and centuries. God
of whispered riddles swallowed on an island. Snake-eaten god.
God of dried up waters, cratering depths. Canyon, erosion,
billowing out. Tributary god cut off from its source. God of the
dry bed, of the cold war. Together with Artemis slayer of
progeny. God of exoskeletons. God splits apart in the sky.



The Faked Apollo Moon Landing and Apollo first appeared in Descant.

Melissa Ginsburg was born in Houston, Texas, in 1976, and earned her BA from the University of Houston and her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. An assistant professor of creative writing and literature at the University of Mississippi in Oxford, Ginsburg is the author of the poetry collection Dear Weather Ghost, published by Four Way Books, and 3 poetry chapbooks: Arbor (New Michigan Press), Double Blind (Dancing Girl Press), and Apollo, forthcoming from Condensery Press. She is the author of 2 novels: Sunset City, released in 2016 from Ecco Books, and The House Uptown, forthcoming in 2021 from Flatiron Books. Her poems have appeared in Fence, Denver Quarterly, Field, Pleiades, The Iowa Review, Blackbird, and other magazines. She has received support from the Mississippi Arts Council, the Ucross Foundation, and the University of Mississippi.