To a Rocket in the Empty Sky

You for my inspiration,
You through inertial wind and fire above, the zone, the edge of the atmosphere,
You in your rumbling blast, your exhausted fuel steaming, sonic boom compulsive,
Your sleek and phallic surface, shielding lead on a sword of steel,
Your unwanted sections, ejected and rejected pods, still tumbling, lonely in the void,
Through air or space, shoot high, shoot far, when the fire dies you still fly,
Hope for the future—reaching for knowledge and glory—penetrating the stars,
For once you contemplate the multiverse, just as I envision you,
Sun storm radiating plasma flares and photon spray,
Until your plunging, burning head swells and vibrates,
Until your steamy shell cools in the sea.

Mechanical monster!
Scream in my dreams of your chaos foretold from the moon to Neptune,
With atom-splitting silence, inflating, bursting like creation, you will rise
Above your own restraints, start surfing from world to world
(Instead of just from here to orbit and back again every time),
But even as you are, full of passion,
Undaunted by escape velocity,
Streak through blackness, unbound by philosophy.

~*~

(This is one I wrote for class, an allusion to Walt Whitman’s “To a Locomotive in Winter.” I’m not really a fan of Whitman, but I saw something in that particular poem that inspired me).

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