Ground Control to Major Tom

by Seth Brady Tucker

Where you come from is anyone’s guess,
     the only difference being that you, Space Hero,
            have been someone pristine and shiny with each
                   subsequent visit, and just look at you, O Cosmonaut,

burnt umber by the sun, golden sparks flecked off
                                         the epaulettes of your flight suit, your skin, a door closed
to the last drip of blood. Stay! We beg you, Major Tom!
                                         O press our flesh hard to clay, O stamp our colors closed

                                         with your mouth! Will you remember our names, our music
the indifference of skin on skin; we sing for you, Space traveler!
                                         O dreadwright of the first planet, O crack in mirror, O closed
eye of the remaining gods! Let us quit the world and travel

                   the tundra roads in wagons, drag the rutted earth, conjoin our drugs
            and music in ecstatic circuses of flesh and laughter, a solipsism closed
     to our most base thirsts. Our nature is defined by your nature, Spaceman,
like you, knives drawn quick to our throats. What’s next is anyone’s guess.

SETH BRADY TUCKER is a poet and fiction writer originally from Lander, Wyoming, and served as an Army 82nd Airborne Paratrooper in the Persian Gulf. His first book, Mormon Boy, won the 2011 Elixir Press Editor’s Poetry Prize. His writing has been nominated for a number of Pushcart Prizes, as well as the Jeff Sharlet Award, and is forthcoming or has appeared in Antioch ReviewVerse DailyConnecticut ReviewChautauquaRiver StyxIndiana ReviewRosebudIowa ReviewWitnessRhino, and Crab Orchard Review. He splits his time teaching veterans at the Light House Writer’s Workshop in Denver and at the University of Colorado at Boulder.