Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The astronaut

(image by Leticia)

The night I learned you had lifted off,
I laid awake in bed in my favorite
flannel PJs - the ones with the moons
and rockets you always made fun of
and I refused to throw away because
they made me feel a little closer to
being the astronaut I always wanted to.

I laid awake in bed studying the
peeling paint on the ceiling, patched
with fading stars we sticked together,
one of us floating in zero gravity
and the other giving instructions
on where each of them should be placed
according to a printed quadrant diagram.

Well, a thought crossed my mind then
that would take another 76-year period
to be be visible to the naked mind's eye
again: I would have to fix things all by myself,
my sky falling down, I might need to fight
my fear of heights and borrow a ladder,
a rocket, a spaceship or an umbrella.

I might need to fight my fear of heights
and my fear of love to reach for my stars
so they could have the chance to make it to wishes
so I could have the chance to come true, all by myself.
You see, I needed no help, and you may think of it
as one small step for a man, but it looks like
a giant leap for this woman here.

(PS.: I miss the talk of nebulas and meteors and I do miss the feeling of sharing galactic coordinates and constellations, but like the moon, I've gotten used to living with my phases, I'm learning my path unhurriedly, and I'm fine with being alone.)

A few notes of interest:

- This is an experimental poem in an experimental tone, it's 3:30 in the morning and I would like to read it but I'd wake up the house, so I may come back when the sun is up with an update.

- Because I'm trying to make blogging simpler, I'm bringing everything from my other poetry blogs into this one. This poem doesn't sound any nicer in Portuguese, reason why I didn't include a version.


  1. Um poema que nasce das coisas que nos cercam e até nem faz parte da poesia torta.
    Tortas eram as luas onde se embrulhou para dormir a noite...
    Belas eram as estrelas espalhadas pelas paredes da pele.
    Fiquei com vontade de ser astronauta pelo menos uma noite, soltando-me das palavras e dos pensamentos feitos...

  2. This is perhaps the longest piece I have read from your pen. Such a huge idea of both internal and eternal experience and spaces explored. I think you have done an extraordinarily good job of it.

  3. I love this piece! It's like something out of an Anthropologie catalog (which I love looking through; I only wish they sent them out more often). I can relate to wearing pajamas (sometimes regular clothes) because they make you feel closer to something. I also love the strength you ended this in.

  4. great poem and authentic narrrative - strong poem KC.

  5. Great ending that ties it all together.

  6. really a beautiful poem - I like the astronaut theme and how you held it throughout, and love the final lines...

  7. I love how you frame the exit of a loved one as lifting off and going into the heavens...which in a sense, we tend to picture death in the Western, Judeo-Christian sense as just that -- going into the heavens. You carried out the metaphor very well through out the length of the poem, using the imagery of stars, spaceships, and gravity to continue and expand the metaphor. I especially love the last stanza.


  8. A well written poem. Peace on your journey through phases of the moon.

  9. Lovely use of metaphor in this piece, Kenia.


  10. Almejar as estrelas é fácil, a conquista é uma por uma.

  11. Kenia, a powerful affirmation of your own integrity.

  12. This is fantastic. You put the reader in bed with you, looking at your sky.

  13. oh this is brilliant!! truly! the astronaut theme carried throughout - the stars - the sky - stuck to the ceiling - the PJs - all so good! enjoyed reading this this morning! great work!


Deixe suas linhas tortas │Leave your crooked lines│