People, it was dangerous.
She should have been more careful.
She never should have idolized that cosmonaut with his
cantankerous jet, his hatred of celebrity, his case of vodka
igniting under the kitchen table.
The cosmonaut whose heart tore open a little every time he
returned to space.
The doctors call this longing disease.
Space with its strange voice—some nights a single note calling,
stars like rocks and reefs you want to touch, to dash, to break
your aluminum body against, even though like water they will
only take you in and fuse you back to atoms no matter how
beautifully you sing when you arrive.
I am tired of bringing you these reports.
It happened in the kitchen. In her home. In the morning. When
a child was due to visit. To see her ship. To admire the dials
and altimeters, the abort switch, the blessed radio that attached
her—infinitesimally small thread—to everyone she left behind.
Amy Miller’s full-length poetry collection The Trouble with New England Girls won the Louis Award from Concrete Wolf Press. Her writing has appeared in Gulf Coast, Willow Springs, and ZYZZYVA, and her chapbooks include I Am on a River and Cannot Answer (BOAAT Press) and Rough House (White Knuckle Press). She won the Cultural Center of Cape Cod National Poetry Competition, judged by Tony Hoagland, and has been a finalist for the Tinderbox Prize, Pablo Neruda Prize, and 49th Parallel Award. She lives in Oregon. writers-island.blogspot.com