Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong by Colin Schmidt

 

It’s 1969, and the moon has been alone forever
until now. Two men are holding each other
on the stairs of a space ship. From one breath
to the next, they listen to each other disappear.
Neil into the small lungs of his daughter,
dead on another planet. He swears he can see
his wife wade into the Ohio with a candle from here.
There’s a plume of dust whirling in the white light
above his boots, flickering there in the kitchen
window of heaven. Janet lifts her night gown up
past her knees. The river silt a tinge electric in her toes.
The last few leaves rock quietly between the branches
and the grass. Each day since, a hole in the snowflake.
Each moment, a botched baptism. She watches the river
haul the clutter of night sky back between her legs,
thinking of how it’s still yesterday on the moon, where
a child splashes around in a pile of glittering dust on the lawn,
how whatever’s gone is still out there, somewhere.

 

COLIN SCHMIDT grew up in New Jersey and Delaware and attends the MFA program at Rutgers-Newark. His current work can be found at The Paris-American, Birdfeast Magazine, and The Cider Press Review.