Lament for the American Space Program on Halloween Night


The ten-million-years-ago stars, those glittering fool-makers,
impassively contrast their frigid perpetuity

with my heart’s transient thud-thud. At my feet, the leaves

skittering across the driveway say: Thanatos! Thanatos!
as if to shush me with the bug-holed currency

from life’s latest bankruptcy. But let me tell you all about
this year’s spooky costume, an idea filched

from an old song: I’m a disgraced cosmonaut in tinfoil pants
festooned with pulled ripcords & severed

oxygen hoses, peering through the scratched visor of a dented

helmet. Patched at the knees, stripped
of all rank & privilege, I’m vodka-soaked & etched all over

with busted capillaries. Tonight, the neighborhood zombies
& lipstick princesses flit by, children gone feral

on the incomprehensible 21st century. Insensitive leaf-kickers!

Reluctant moon-gazers! Apparently, the moon
wasn’t worth the effort, comrades, I tell them in a villainous

Russki accent, pointing out a spectacular waxing
gibbous emerging from a tatter of clouds. They note my pinhole

leaks, the futility of my zero-gravity shoes. They set me straight,

informing me that Star Wars has a two-moon minimum, super
giant moons at that, with blue-green atmospheres

crisscrossed by glabrous heroes shooting down spiny monsters
& so much better than the pitiful dust of my sorry

dime-size moon & Sea of Tranquility’s lonesome old footprints.