Reading “A Globe Is Just an Asterisk
and Every Home Should Have an Asterisk,”
by Aimee Nehukumatathil, reminds me,
when she climbs the attic’s pull-down stairs
to find her old globe and then measures
with her fingers the distance to Indian
across the Pacific Ocean, of my own child-
hood globe with John Glenn’s three orbits
marked by a thin red stripe on clear tape
from takeoff to splashdown in the same
vast green sea until the tape peeled off
leaving me feeling small and trouble-prone.
We thought we’d meet on the moon,
vacation on an asteroid, and travel
the globe in our own private jet-cars.
Instead, I am a poet, strictly terrestrial,
gazing at the untenable moon, impossibly
far, signifying everything I could not reach.
I feel like red tape, unstuck, spooling down.
*September 2010, remembering the 1960s.