Apollo 13

Shrapnel drifts like maple syrup    torpid

in a black pond    as Tom Hanks declares


a problem     an eight-year-old boy in Ohio

cannot understand except for the image


of ship shards    floating in a vacuum      where the astronaut’s

wife’s wedding ring cannot echo     its clink & decrescendo


as it falls to the shower drain    where her sob

for her husband    suspended in a sphere of rent metal


cannot reach its intended ears    The boy slurps

his chai as he watches the screen in the kitchen


His shoulders sink for the astronaut’s wife     who the boy imagines

could be his Mom     who cannot reach     where her love tumbles


This is how space becomes more     than night sky blue

dappled through branches & skylights


more than a vessel for the moon

the stars     & the boy who eats pancakes under them


This is how space reminds the boy that he lives two places

at once      why later at karate class     anxiety sidekicks his ribs


renders him airless     when he cannot do the splits

Rushi Vyas teaches creative writing at the University of Colorado-Boulder where he is a poetry student in the MFA program. He serves as the Managing Editor of Subito Press and Assistant Managing Editor of Timber Journal.