before the world knew your name,
before it was a destination,
what was the moon like from your backyard?
dear neil armstrong,
i write this to you as she sleeps down the hall.
i need answers that only you might have.
when you were a boy and
space was simple science fiction,
when flying was merely a daydream
between periods of history and physics,
when gifts of moon dust to the one you loved
could only be wrapped in your imagination,
your arm: strong, warm, and wrapped
across her shoulders
under her hair,
both of you gazing up
from your back porch
your distant journey.
upon landing on the moon
as the earth rose over the sea of tranquility
did you look for her?
what was it like to see out planet and know that
everything you could be,
all you could ever love and long for,
was just floating before you?
by any chance
did you write her name in the dirt
when the cameras weren’t looking?
or maybe you surrounded both your initials with a heart
for alien life to study a million years from now.
what is it like to love someone so distant?
what words did you use to bring the moon back to her?
what did you promise in the moon’s ear about the girl back home?
can you teach me how to fall from the sky?
i ask you these things
not because i doubt your feat.
i just want to know what it’s like
to go somewhere no man had ever been
only to discover she wasn’t there,
to realize your moon walk could never
compare to the steps that lead to her.
I now know the flight home means more.
every July i think of you.
i imagine the summer of 1969.
how lonely she must’ve felt while you were gone
you never went back to the moon and
i believe that’s because it doesn’t take rockets
to get you to where you belong.
i see that in this woman down the hall and
sometimes she seems so much further.
i’m ready for whatever steps i must take to get to her.
i’ve seen so many skies and
the moon always looks the same.
so i gotta say
the rock you landed on had nothing
on the rock of mine she’s landed on.
you walked around, took samples and left.
she built a fire,
cleaned up the place, and
i hope she decides to stay
because on my rock
we can both breathe.
Mr. Armstrong, i don’t have much.
many times have i been upside-downtrodden
but with these empty hands
come a heart that is full
more often than the moon.
she’s becoming my world,
pulling me into orbit, and
now i know i may never find life outside of hers.
i wanna give her everything i don’t have yet.
so, for her, i would go to the moon and back,
but not without her.
when we could claim the moon for each other with
flags made from sheets down the hall and
i’d risk it all
to kiss her under the light of earth
the brightness of home.
i can do all of that and more
right here, wherever she is, and
when we gaze up
with her arms around me,
i will not promise her gifts of
moon dust or speed of light.
instead, i will gladly give her all the earth she wants
in return for all the earth she is,
the sound of her heartbeat and laughter
and all the time it takes
to learn to fall out the sky
in the hope that she’ll catch me
cause she’s one small step for man
but she’s one giant leap
for my kind.
i will do this everyday
if i can always land next to her.