Ascending for seventy-three euphoric
seconds we thought they’d got away.
A second sun bloomed in the sky,
eruption eclipsed our ears and I don’t
know whether that whine was spiralling
rockets or a collective scream but I do know
it was the worst sound to ever howl through
me. Later, I learned the crew must’ve survived
initially, though it would have been kinder
if they’d died in the blast. The cabin went
ballistic—traced a perfect rainbow
to its fool’s gold end. Rudderless
and wingless for two-and-three-quarter
minutes’ eternity the crew was conscious,
toggling switches in vain. Comms down.
Power out. Recorder stopped. Oxygen on.
Hell, they could see death coming,
but had no way to stop it and no one to tell.