Mike Moxcey ©2002

Don't Wish on Falling Stars

by Mike Moxcey

Colorado Springs ‚(Loo-Art Press), 1981.

In outer space a spaceman dies a quick and lonely death,
a rip, a tear, a puncture, and the vacuum takes his breath.
His momentum sends him on his last trajectory,
a voyage through the empty void for all eternity.

He had hit a virus mine when he was on patrol
and now was kept in isolation way down in the hold.
He asked me what his chances were and told me not to lie.
I looked at him and told him that he would probably die.

He just sighed and looked at me and asked me if I could
keep a promise and I told the dying man I would.
He said, "Set my trajectory to the planet of my birth
so my body will be burned up in the atmosphere of Earth.

"I signed up at age seventeen, they sent me to the moon.
I said good bye, my momma cried, and said, 'Please come back soon
She hugged me hard, then kissed me and told me to be good
and she told me to come back home as often as I could.

"I never went back home although I didn't mean to lie.
I didn't really think that we had said our last goodbye.
The military kept me here to die in outer space
and never go back home again to see my mother's face.

"I went to Venus from the moon and then went out to Mars.
Then went out past Pluto, headed for the stars.
Now I'm gonna die about a trillion klicks from home
and I don't want the empty void to always have my bones.

"So promise not to let my body float around in space.
It's too dark and empty for a final resting place.
Please set my last trajectory to the planet of my birth
and let my body burn up in the atmosphere of Earth."

After I gave him my word, he closed his eyes and died.
He never got his final wish, even though I tried.
The captain asked me if the promise that I made was worth
the risk of deadly viruses getting back to Earth.

I agreed with him, of course, it was too big a risk.
We shot the dead man into space, he never got his wish
That his final trip would take him to the planet of his birth
where his body would be burned up in the atmosphere of Earth.

Instead, he flies eternally throughout the empty waste,
doomed to spend forever in the cold, black void of space.
That's why I spend all my time drinking in these bars
and that's why spacer's families don't wish on falling stars.

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