Where The Astronaut Sleeps

The Olympic high-diving champion has won the crowd
And his country cheers from their homes,
To their televisions, to their radios.
He holds the medallion close to his chest
And looks to his brother, sat in the third row, second column,
Who as a kid, pushed him into the pool
From the first floor balcony.
The thrill of free fall cushioned the blow
So much, that he did it again, and again,
Bringing him here to the podium
In first place.

The surgeon, scalpel, scrubs and mask,
Prepares for the triple heart bypass
So that Walter Fulton, age fifty-six,
Can work at Walmart another day.
As he puts on his gloves, wriggling his fingers inside,
Pulling them tight to his wrist,
It takes him back to Tenerife, where he stood in the middle of the road
And poked a flattened frog with a stick.
Immediately, he became desperate to know
How it all worked on the inside
As the anatomy spilled onto the tarmac.

In this midnight dream, which will be retold over breakfast
To Mum and Dad,
The boy slings around Jupiter and propels himself
Into space, far from stars, far from home,
On his journey to the quiet, dark, deep.
He’s not there yet, he’s just a boy,
But right here, right now,
Is where the astronaut sleeps.

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