Kamilah Aisha Moon

Still Life as Rocket: 42

                                                Thanks, Yolonda


This is the part where the boosters begin

to fall away, & I’m moving so fast

it feels like slow motion.

From here I can see

the blue contours of my journey

against eternal midnight lit

with torches held by unseen hands.

I understand why many choose

not to look—it really does take

my breath away, steers this ride toward

terror & away from thrill. I think of

Joy, Thema, Kerry, Anthony, Phebus. Sandra & those

lynched by cops, satellite spirits

who didn’t reach this orbit alive, how I must

feel the fuel burning & praise them

by not cursing the mirror or clinging

to the rear view and its new

blurriness; dare to comb defiant curls

emblazoned by moonlight.

There is so much still launching

in me.




“Still Life as Rocket: 42” appeared in the anthology Still Life with Poem: Contemporary Natures Mortes in Verse (The Literary House Press, 2016) and is from Starshine & Clay (Four Way Books, 2017)