7.14 / December 2012

Surname NASA

listen to this poem

Grandpa had a chin cut from solar flare,
his arms felled comet tail,
his mouth full of Hubble lens teeth.
Nothing broke him, not the bricklaying
or bread crumbs, not a love wanting to see the size
of its shadow. He held all the quiet of night,
all it’s dark in the black hole of his belly,
never to wake us, not to stop our ascent.

Grandma curled her ribs into swing sets,
all her children touched the moon with the tips
of their fingers. They kissed astronauts on their
foreheads. She was all rise, her hair curled nebula.
Every ocean she will never see pools in our palms
if you ask her. Her grandchildren, the great tide pullers.

Some evening, I will take their love into orbit, tying the stars
into rope around my waist. I will pour all this light over
mountains they will see from the flats of Kansas.

I have grown so tall this way.
I am the moon program.
Once, only Seattle Space Needle,
but my grandparents, always a solar system,
even now, they hum and spin, they turn like dancers,
a music box holding heavens of hope.


Brennan Bestwick is a shih tzu talker from north Kansas. His work has appeared in Used Furniture Review, kill author, nibble, and elsewhere. If lake water rock skipping were an Olympic event, they would make bobbleheads in his gold medal winning likeness.
7.14 / December 2012

MORE FROM THIS ISSUE