I stare for hours from my window into Space,
earth-gaze over milk-crust horizons of the moon.
‘Splanchnon’, the Greeks called the visceral
tenderness my home inspires, fragile in a universe
expanding: brilliant blue dot, curtained in auroras
against a backdrop of infinity. Milky Way stars
chase lights of cities waking and going to sleep;
terrain of ocean, mountain, jungle, desert.
Separateness is illusion.
Precarious paper shield skies cradle our planet.
In cosmic perspective, I comprehend
‘oneness’ as we travel together around our star-sun.
No boundaries, no borders, a perfect sphere. Oasis
at the centre of nothingness. Hope against the void.
We have one destiny. No astronaut visits
the stars and comes back unchanged. Of all the views
from our windows, this is the one emblazoned
in modern memory.
bravely rising from a dark abyss
to strike another soutenu around the sun.
When I was nine,
I decided to be an astronaut.
Barefoot in wet grass,
holding my father’s hand,
listening to cricket song
and squinting up at the moon,
certain I could see
the first man walking there,
black and white like the image on TV.
I wanted to moonbounce,
tether myself to a spaceship
instead of Earth,
feel rocket boosters fire
me to another world.
Breathing the scent of honeysuckle,
I sucked the nectered stamens.
Floating free of gravity,
I took a giant leap
Bio: Gayle J. Greenlea is a poet and counselor for survivors of sexual and gender-related violence. Her poem, “Wonderland”, received the Australian Poetry Prod Award in 2011. She shortlisted and longlisted for the Fish Poetry Prize in 2013, and debuted her first novel, Zero Gravity, at the KGB Literary Bar in Manhattan in 2016. Her work appears in St. Julian Press, Rebelle Society, A Time to Speak, Headline Poetry and Press, The Wombwell Rainbow, and Life in Quarantine (Stanford).