THEY’RE BUILDING A ROCKET THAT WILL FLY ITSELF
to the moon. Only two seats, both spoken for —
sold to an oligarch and his girlfriend
or maybe a pair of website co-founders, but imagine it
elseways: the first riders unremarkable. Strangers, side by side,
watching a wide window and a plot of their arc
into hush and plush darkness. He had a telescope as a kid.
She’s always wanted to travel. He’s remembering
Neil Armstrong, supernatural on the family TV,
his tunneled voice reporting on the fineness
of the dust. She’s thinking about God and worrying a little
about her elderly cat, in the care of her neighbor.
She’s brought some books that hover companionably
around them. He’s not much of a reader, but he likes
the one she plucks down for him. How clever
the sisters are, how devotedly the oldest defends
the younger three. As they brush the lunar surface,
he starts to hum David Bowie — not that sad
Major Tom one, but Starman. Bowie as Ziggy Stardust,
ardent and ablaze. She doesn’t know Starman, doesn’t know
Ziggy Stardust, but she listens until she can hum along.
Abbie Kiefer is a poet from New Hampshire. Her work is forthcoming or has appeared in Arts & Letters, The Cincinnati Review, Ninth Letter, Poet Lore, Poetry Northwest, and other places. She was a 2022 semifinalist for the 92Y Discovery Prize and volunteers as a reader for The Adroit Journal. Find her online at here.