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Watching an Astronaut Go into Space

After ‘Goodbye to All that’ by Joan Didion and ‘You, Very Young in New York’ by Hannah Sullivan

I fold into a bar stool,

watching astronauts airlock, a cockpit,

gulping their last earthly inhales like a front crawl breathe.

I smile at pilots enduring

g-force, loads of vacuum food,

this is a resupply mission, no giant leap for you.

SpaceX is an obvious step for philanthropists when they run out of islands,

they don’t live up to the love in their Greek root of ‘philo’.

A guy in the chair says ‘over’ but, disappointingly,

nothing has even started.

Some time passes.

/

So long in fact the moment the launch actually happens,

I’m watching a cockroach slaloming shoes by the door.

Eating Padron peppers, Piri Piri fries on my 4th pint.

The playlist crackles out Prince’s ‘Sign O’ the Times.’

“Truly man just ain’t happy unless a man dies.” 

I beam, bigger than in weeks,

a man can be truly happy with an indefinite number of pints and fries.

Those astronauts won’t get a bite or sip of either from that whole resupply.

I look up and see the television screen,

the launch is way past lift-off,

a family is being interviewed who drove all the way from Utah to Florida.

Somethings been released and it’s burning up.

I invite myself to leave, the pubs busying for the evening.

The bar doors swing, a goat-looking man walks in.

/

“My my, the inane prince, fancy a drink?”

Someone’s screaming; the cockroach has decided to fly.

I smile, “We come back to our minds with our dance and our drink.”

But I’m still staring at the screen, watching the rocket shrink.

Something hasn’t fully burned up, nobody seems to care but I

point it out to my fleeced friend “haha” he chuffs “Apollo’s tricks.

God’s just ain’t happy till they see a man die.”