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Zero Gravity by Eric Gamalinda

Zero Gravity

by Eric Gamalinda

The dry basin of the moon must have held

the bones of a race, radiant minerals,

or something devoid of genesis, angel-heavy,

idea-pure. All summer we had waited for it,

our faces off-blue in front of the TV screen.

Nothing could be more ordinary—two figures

digging dirt in outer space—while mother repeated

Neil Armstrong’s words, like a prayer

electronically conveyed. The dunes were lit

like ancient silk, like clandestine pearl.

In the constant lunar night this luminescence

was all we hoped for. A creature unto itself,

it poured into the room like a gradual flood

of lightning, touching every object with the cool burn

of something not quite on fire. If we stepped out

Manila would be blank ether, way station,

a breathless abeyance. It didn’t matter,

at that moment, where our lives would lead:

father would disown one brother,

one sister was going to die. Not yet unhappy,

we were ready to walk on the moon. Reckless

in our need for the possible, we knew

there was no turning back, our bags already packed,

the future a religion we could believe in.

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