Size / / /

A photograph of my father

in his space suit

sits on the dresser,

tough, tensile, covering

his entire body, but for the eyes.

On one side is a toy

three-stage rocket, on the other,

a plastic replica of the

solar system, with Mercury missing,

Saturn's rings broken.

Once, my tiny hand zoomed

that vessel from planet to planet,

crash-landing on Venus,

circling Mars, rocking and rolling

through the storms of Jupiter.

Now, everything gathers dust,

the toys, and especially the photograph,

still life, that oxymoron for the

modem age, and eyes that stare

24/7, sustained by glossy paper.

So where is he now?

Out beyond Pluto? The Milky Way?

He always said no

universe could hold him.

He really meant no child could.

John Grey can be reached by email at You can find more of John's work in our archives.
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Beatriz Nogueira is fifteen years old when her life ends.
how humble it becomes after beliefs on it / burn up
Your quivering, alien shift from human to halfling to not-quite,   a carrion flower never in bloom, but burst.
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