“All our lives are symbols. Everything we do is part of a pattern we have at least some say in. The strong make their own patterns and influence other people’s, the weak have their courses mapped out for them. The weak and the unlucky, and the stupid.”
-Iain Banks, “The Wasp Factory”
“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”
-George Bernard Shaw
Her eyes gleam like comets,
the kind of comets that make cults
sing “Swing low, sweet chariot”
as they swallow spoonfuls of poisoned apple sauce.
Her eyes are two pinpoints of light that shoot through the dark.
Maybe if you’re lucky, you’ll see them
in time to make a wish.
That’s why I keep my telescope pointed towards the heavens,
where her arms, spangled with stardust,
juggle moons and gas giants;
And her hips spin milky spirals
as she hula-hoops planetary rings
and asteroid belts around her waist.
So many creation myths revolve around
a Sky Father and an Earth Mother
whose union brings forth the world…
They all got it wrong!
She’s up there,
shimmering in the firmament,
piercing her ears with satellites
and singing along to radio transmissions
bounced into space 75 years ago.
I’m down here,
polishing the lens of my telescope,
drawing my star charts,
and watching her heavenly ballet above me
dance the cosmos into being anew
with every breath and step
Men looked up into the night
and dreamed of moon dust on their boots
and dead flags standing still in the void.
They built rockets for dogs and monkeys
before making that first move:
Earth Father on an awkward first coffee date with Sky Mother,
holding his breath as they played 21 questions
before burning up on reentry.
I’m not a rocket scientist…
But I dream about rocket fuel;
Green and blue in my rear-view;
Floating in her infinite space;
Earth Father, Sky Mother singing along
to a golden record spinning “Reunited and it feels so good”
in a satellite sailing through dark matter.
It’s a sweet dream,
but she’s Up
and I’m Down.
All I can do right now is make my blueprints
for my rocket ship;
watch her stars salsa and jitterbug overhead;
and pretend that the dust on my shoes
came from clouds we kicked up
on the Sea of Tranquility
as we danced beneath the light
of the world.