Days before liftoff Neil Armstrong saw Easy Rider
in the cool solitude of a dark space 25 miles
from the launchpad and Born to Be Wild
blasted in his ears as the Saturn V lifted him
with the drive of over 400 sky blue corvettes
towards a lunar orbit almost four days later.
Space was a million outstretched slapping hands
welcoming him, congratulating him, a cradle
that rocked him in the ebb and flow of propulsion
and focused him to touch the white mobile above,
delete the mechanical drone, the white noise
of mission control, and Collins’ and Aldrin’s prattle.
He marooned them in the back of his mind
to the deepest of the deep, sailors lost in
The Sea of Tranquility, landing on Island Earth
until eons of isolation devolve them to
Australopithecus in the Kubrick movie with
that tapir femur hurled to a match cut orbiter.
That magnificent desolation, that beat-up
sand-blasted ball with hole upon hole
was his second daughter aching to
reconnect with the dust of Karen.
He steered clear of the crater, landing
the Eagle in an embrace of dirty beach sand.
He rehearsed the landing mantra,
“That’s one small step for a man,”
dropping the article in the tear of his helmet,
as he noticed the lunar soil glistened
like the high Mojave Desert near Edwards AFB,
adhering like Canaveral sand in Karen’s palm.
On the flag’s finial he left her death bracelet,
the cut strap looped to whole, the beauty of earth
reflecting in in his visor, and in the banner’s toppling,
footprints erasing in combustion’s goodbye,
he realized “Damn, I really did it. I blew
the first words on the moon, didn’t I?”