Bottle-Rocket Joyride

STS-51-L by NASA

by K.C. Collins

This is the brain:
the organic machine
humming on caffeine
steady as she goes, sir
unleaded chocolate
and vitamin routine

This is the brain on fire:
critical mass of all the Right Stuff
rocket-fuel injected ignition of neurons
bombs bursting in air
barrel-rolls and loopy-loops
and never mind the cranial stress-cracks

I could go straight to the moon
if it weren’t for this distraction of stars
How can I stay the course when there’s a
whole bleeding sunset to fly through and see?

Control tower barking about
constellations of symptoms
Rip off the com-link and go solo
so high

We could take a lightning tour of the planets
or crash the gate at the edge of the universe
Haven’t you ever wanted to explode your horizons?

When I was a child
I put a pinhole in a birthday balloon
we all shrieked with laughter as it
zipped and zoomed on its crazy flight
defying gravity until its air was spent
and it fluttered to the floor:
and once again subject to all the rules.

We could boldly go
We could slingshot ’round the sun
We could have a high old time
We could hijack Spock for fun

A crackling voice from
someplace on the groundfloor:
“What goes up…” 
Yeah, yeah,
we know the rest.
shut up and let me fly
while I can.


© Copyright 2007 by K.C. Collins. Republished 2013, 2015.

Photo: “STS-51-L” by NASA – Kennedy Space Center Photo Archive. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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