Dichotomy Under Stars

Milky Way - Cherry Springs

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

and races.

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

young girls.

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

their lives.

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.

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