by Pat Phillips West
No one tells me to wait or hurry up
or questions why I’m eating chicken noodle soup
for breakfast or vanilla ice cream
straight from the container
with a wooden spoon at midnight.
No one calls me crazy
or pokes fun
when I talk to the moon
or cry when shadows devour his brightness
in tiny little bites.
In the kitchen, I read that astronauts
returning from outer space
are prone to deep depression.
I wonder what it is about hours spent orbiting
that wreaks such havoc on the heart.
Walking to the back porch
I close my eyes and sway
in small circles, remember
the weightless love we made.
A low homing signal leaks into the atmosphere
desperate for response.
Sometimes my solo existence
resembles how Carl Sagan described
the image of Earth
from one million miles away,
finite and lonely, somehow vulnerable.
The dog winks at me.
I wink back in case it’s some code
coming to me through the blue light
of a winter dawn.