Rocket Scientist

by | May 19, 2021 | Poetry

The techs have strapped you in,
launched you under the scanner.
Already I have to look away.
I veil my eyes with a word game on my phone,
but the next word is m o r t a l.

Your pelvic arch on the screen, the lit fuse
of your unfolding spine,
both sprouting little galaxies,
nebulae shining through old dust,
through dark matter no matter
the point of view.
That bright node is the lodestone,
pointing to the star in the North,
the hub of our circling concern.

The traveling table takes your grainy feet.
The screen transmutes them
into a low-gravity jump, a deliberated Rapture.
The screen sits high up,
like the cabin screen in coach on Pan Am.
Those old flights seemed endless.

Each sparkling toe freezes me.
Your bladder full of half-lives unlived
is a quasar of particle decay, bright galaxies
invaded, half a half-life flaring out.
Quick, look up. A falling star.


ROCKET SCIENTIST by Karen Greenbaum-Maya



Photo used under CC.

About The Author


Karen Greenbaum-Maya is a retired clinical psychologist, former German major and writer of restaurant reviews, and, a two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Her first full sentence was, “Look at the moon!” Poems have appeared in B O D Y, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Riddled with Arrows, Comstock Poetry Review, Heron Tree, Waccamaw, Spillway, and Rappahannock Poetry Review. She received Special Merit designations from B.F. Fairchild and Marge Piercy in Comstock’s Muriel Craft Bailey Memorial competition. Collections include The Book of Knots and their Untying (Kelsay Books) and the chapbooks “Burrowing Song,” “Eggs Satori,” and “Kafka’s Cat” (Kattywompus Press). She co-curates Fourth Sundays, a poetry series in Claremont, California.

Books by Karen Greenbaum-Maya