earth’s one blue eye stared back at them
they were smaller than they’d ever been
& after the descent, giants for a day
or was it a month? everything looked paler
the space to their wives unbreachable (what was it like?)
vodka peyote Church of the Latter Day Saints
they couldn’t see a way back
one sells autographs at Star Trek conventions
another took to acrylics but did the moondust last?
or is he in his backyard at midnight
rubbing dirt particles into fabric
to cut and fix on beaten plywood; to sell a gritty dream
a speck of possibility
out beyond the reaches of possession
This was originally published in Turbine. I’d just like to make it clear that it’s a purely fictional and speculative account and I am in no way suggesting any astronaut would ever really use garden dirt instead of moondust in a painting. The idea of an astronaut artist is real though. Alan Bean was the fourth man to walk on the moon as part of the Apollo 12 mission, and later became a full-time painter. He paints astronauts and the moon and uses the hammer he took to the moon to provide texture, his moon boots for footprints, and the cut-up emblems from his suit as a source of moon dust (from the Ocean of Storms) to mix with his paint so that every painting has a little bit of moondust in it. How cool is that?
I LOVE this poem. Thanks for posting it!
I’m with Belinda–love the poem! And it catches something I often reflect on, which is how hard it must be to come back from momentous experiences like that to the ‘everyday’ …
Thanks Belinda and Helen!