4. Night

In dreams I am
without machine.
No airfoil, stick,
a different physics

buoys me
kicking past cloud-forms

into each

each moment.

6. Assembly

They are sleeping.
On beds of polished
tooling, in sheets
of mylar and copper,
they sleep.
With rigid fittings.
With drills and dies
loaned by the tool
crib, they wait
for weld tips
and bonding agents.
For curing agents
and solvent baths;
gloved hands, masked
faces, and final
of fine wiring
in this cradle
of circuit boards
and solar panels:
the ultra-clean
unfinished innards
and exoskeletons
of spacecraft.

7. Maze

I didn’t find a monster at the core.
No sacrifice. No thread to lead me out.
But I imagined the bureaucrats and brass
had a darker purpose than the safety
of democracy. Inside the cubicles,
the bullpens, the long bare halls with portals
to clock our every crossing, a unity
was lost on me. Much spoken of, but missing.

10. Laboratory

Three flights
up to the ladies’

Cracked paint.
Basement labs
where my data

gather, a smattering
of electrons
in a vacuum chamber.

My grandfather built optics here.

My father followed
in a crew cut,
white shirt, narrow tie.

In snapshots
and clippings I see
men smile.

The hard
truth shines—

Pioneer, Ranger, Mariner.
Aluminum soldiers.

Years later he
tells me one

flew into the sun.