i remember the absence of light
before and after, the violence
in your eyes, the twitching. old hymns and
the smell of muscle rub, winter mint and
pine needles, raindrops zig-zagging down
window glass, and you, in your bed at the edge
of gravity, earth and space, another Big Bang,
blue eyes searching for stars in the dark matter
of shadows and lamplight on the ceiling—
your lungs ignited, and the atmosphere
trapped inside of you was free.
when you became an astronaut.