Last night I dreamt I went on a work trip to the moon.
An all-woman crew, we met at the launch pad at 9 AM, PB and J’s for lunch.
The commute was an hour. We avoided all traffic.
Got to work by 10, home to our families by 6. Leftovers for dinner
—crusty lasagna—I scraped eggy ricotta from bottom,
left my fingerprints in cheese on the glass
soaking in the sink.
For lunch the second day, I sliced banana into my sandwich
to add something new to life on the moon. Gravity followed us
—we had made arrangements for our feet to remain on the ground.
The sandwiches never floated away, no orbs of jam got snared in my jellyfish hair.
Life on the moon was ordinary. We watched our oxygen levels,
monitored meteors. We stayed on schedule for the things that needed us:
a new strain of lunar potato craving less alkalinity,
a robotic arm twitching with loose screws,
messes to clean up and wounds to heal.
We hustled to do our chores on the moon.
We had errands to run at the day’s end, after the shuttle
cooled enough to touch, shed the heat that strips fingerprints from a hand.
We set our alarms to meet on the tarmac,
slid our hands into asbestos-lined gloves,
rendered ourselves fireproof, voided our hands of fingerprints.
We stirred sugar into coffee during a break,
told stories about our mythic feats of independence,
how we provided all we needed, while we created all our new need.
I woke up from my work trip on the moon to the sound of my toddler
pounding his bedroom door, announcing that the sun was up in Milwaukee.
I tried to remember how I had felt on the moon. I had lost that version
of me, and could no longer remember if it was comforting
—To have found myself in a new place that was old.
—To witness how we were the same,
—Still mostly enough, still often insufficient.
And even on the moon, my potato plant grew
leggy in unbalanced soil, curling at the leaves
hungry for something acidic. The banana slices
were not enough. I lost track of them between
the bread after a few bites, decided tomorrow
I would carry my own cayenne.