In a giant room full of loud machines
men and women sit or stand over
their labors, working together to
build what was once impossible.
It’s a dream in plastic and carbon
fiber, a wish built on a strong titanium
framework. They strive with tools
and minds to break home ties
with this Earth, just dipping toes in the
cosmic ocean no longer thrilling.
They want to swim.
The man of the hour stands there
in front of cameras and a chattering
crowd of young and old, all genders
A curtain drawn showcases the labors of
these technicians and scientists, a smooth
capsule swept off of the pages of a
science fiction novel-its landing gear
extended, impressive rockets ready for
concrete or red sand. The statement:
One more step on the path to immortality
out there among the awaiting stars.
In a tree, among the flies and above the
weeds, hang swinging in the humid air two
They have been brutalized, raped, less than
discarded-they are displayed like hunting
trophy prizes that some British lord of the
19th century would have strung up for the
benefit of his coolies and flash powder.
The mobs descend, their anger relatively
loud regarding inept police not searching
for these girls when they went missing.
They’re all subsisting, out here in the far
north, but the rapes are a normal part of
The women an excellent resource for male
dreams of home and hearth, of sex and
tasty curries but not much else.
In Pakistan it’s even worse, so why complain?
You murder some girls, so? Murder your old
wife to marry a new one, who is killed too.
The dirt is red with dripping blood, small
rivulets running out to dry, dark stains
under shade beside the gnarled roots.