The Space Traveler and Wandering

Jun 3, 2014

I didn’t always wander. Once,
I had a small home with a garden.
A planet dweller lived there,
and we had the local equivalent
of a dog. It’s hard to say
what happened, but at some point
I found myself converting parts
of our bungalow into a ship.
First appliances: fridge, stove,
electric tooth brush and water pick.
Then larger pieces. Siding
for the rocket body; chimney
for part of the nose cone.
Right now, I’m entering coordinates
into a combination of water heater
and wet bar. Both of us knew
things were finished when I
savaged the bed for springs.
(Landing apparatus.) Eventually
it was just the two of us
in a denuded frame, sitting
on the floor, not talking about
leaks, drafts. In the garden,
my ship flattened the winter squash.
It towered above what was left
of the roof. There wasn’t much
of a goodbye. He shrugged and I
scanned the room for wire nuts.
(I forget now why I needed wire nuts.)
When my afterburn ignited
what was left of the place, I
allowed myself a small smile. Then
I set the toaster for deep
space. It didn’t ding for years.

Benjamin Grossberg is the director of Creative Writing and and an associate professor of English at the University of Hartford.