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Saturday, July 20, 2019


by Alejandro Escudé 

There is no man on the moon tonight.
And it is there, golden and full. I spot it above the empty golf course.
And one can watch as many footage hours of the first mission to the moon
as one desires, but they are never going to return.
Instead, they’re still debating our race. Instead, they’re still defining America.
It’s interesting to learn that Armstrong had to pilot over a cluster of boulders
to find a fitting landing spot. It’s interesting to know
that the astronaut suit-makers did not appreciate Buzz’s leaping, kicking up
moon dust.
And it’s fun to think of Collins circling the pale satellite like a giant man-embryo
inside a metallic uterus. But there is little room to be dumbfounded anymore.
Everyday, the internet steals the soul. They try to make us believe there’s an
alternative to coal.
Last week, Manhattan went dark. Just like in 1977. They tell young students they
don’t need to able to sit in a class anymore and to stay home and learn on an
online school.
They sell a long gun that can take out a small, midwestern town.
Our President is a clown-salesman, a weaponized being sent into the hallowed
chambers of a static, broken government. He is a human improvised explosive
device with a ticking mouth.
People still die in floods in the South.
Yet, they project the Saturn V rocket on the Washington Monument,
our country the equivalent of a middle aged man recalling his high school football
victories with rancid nostalgia, while his children have moved clear across the
country to get away from his unpredictable temper and judgement.
The Russians are still rivals.
Sputnik spins around the world yet.
Does time even really happen to us all?
Did Armstrong really come up with that poetry about one small step?
Such a quiet, distant man,
a man on the moon, three hundred thousand miles away, knowing just what to say
and how to say it—with that pause, that dead air between the word man
and the word one.

Alejandro Escudé published his first full-length collection of poems My Earthbound Eye in September 2013. He holds a master’s degree in creative writing from UC Davis and teaches high school English. Originally from Argentina, Alejandro lives in Los Angeles with his wife and two children.