he actually bought the Moon,
launched into space
to survey his purchase.
When he arrived,
he found it was a lonely,
grey, dark, empty rock,
devoid of air and life
but still, he thought,
it was worth the price,
paid in full to the United Nations,
despite worldwide protest
and angry posts on social media.
He bounced around a bit
on the dusty surface
and planted a flag
with his corporation’s logo
in what he thought was a prominent spot.
He watched the Earth rise,
gigantic and blue, in front of him
and shed a tear.
Then he was bored and ready to go home,
but there was a mechanical problem
with his space shuttle.
His pilot frowned
at wires and computer chips
and hunks of gleaming metal.
They needed a replacement part,
but due to bureaucracy and budget constraints,
it would take a couple of years to arrive.
The quadrillionaire and his pilot
were well stocked in food and supplies
but didn’t have much in common.
He was still making money, at least,
the quadrillionaire, that is.
Because he had the Moon trademarked and copyrighted,
and there was a fee to gaze at it with your lover,
photograph it hanging low and large and orange
over a majestic rock formation in the desert,
describe it in your poem,
teach its phases to bored schoolchildren,
and allow it to influence your tides.
On a clear night, you could try to view
the stranded quadrillionaire
with your backyard telescope.
But most people said it wasn’t worth
the monthly subscription.