A Woman on Earth

by Christine Adams Beckett

A Pittsburgh housewife is responsible
for flying the American flag
on the moon, where gravity grounds nothing
and the atmosphere hosts myth.

A womanly contribution to the Apollo
missions, at an inhospitable time for Her:
a curtain rod pocket and a pole to
pierce the lunar visage,

made of paper, cheese, igneous
rock, depending on one’s own celestial
mood, literary knowledge
or state of rational being.

Imagine the man on the moon
staking claims, driving golf balls
or longing towards a blue-green
orb at an impossible distance,

sliding down his own beams,
inquiring his way to Norwich, or
my lonely arms, finding nothing but
cold porridge that somehow burned his lips.

Preferring ethereal surroundings of weightlessness
dangling over paper seas, he pulls her waters and
matches the cycles of every terrestrial womb,
crowding delivery rooms on the brightest nights.

He remains an unrequited love
evasive during the darkest hours
and brilliant on the last ones when the
light that is reflected is — in sooth — our own.