Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2014  Vol. 13  No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Spacemen Specimen

On this planet we hadn’t yet saddled,
a blanket of craters extended
to a too‐near horizon. We had
the just lights of science within us

as we pulled him from the foxhole like an ingrown hair.
He was difficult to see straight, slipping
from our vision’s center, but we
were on a mission, full of orders. I remember

the trail his passing left: thick milk
that smelled of pecan pie, of my partner’s
first wife’s shampoo. We spilled it behind us
as we threaded him from crater to empty crater.

I caught a sense of legs, moving
in unison. He never spoke
in words, and we learned that to hold his arms
was to hold a breach of dust—gently, gently.

We thought we seemed like sun gods to him,
and his trembling some kind of worship.
And the milk dripped from his fingers
as if crushed from foreign stones.

This was after we’d jammed our little flags
into much of the planet, sent our reports
back through an endlessly possible sky.
We did it in triplicate. We were heroes.    

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