“The Astronaut Explains Divorce to Me” by Ash Bowen

Ash Bowen


Your father’s like a far-flung rocket, a G-force orbiter
funneling through the stratosphere. Each day

he screens the perimeter of our atmosphere
to keep us safe from ray guns

aimed from outer space, leaves us
notes he’s written with his vapor trails.

But at night, the frequency
of your grief keeps him homing through

our house. He meets your mother glowing
in her latest wedding gown, her hand heavy

with the bloom of stars I’ve laid upon her finger.
The gentle thing’s to leave your father to the memory

of the spheres. Lonely but bobbing in his armor,
nothing can hurt his heart up there.

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012
Tribute to Speculative Poetry


Ash Bowen: “When this poem (and others like it in my manuscript) came pouring out of my pen, I was surprised as anyone that I was writing what my poetry friends have dubbed ‘science fiction poetry.’ But here I am, showing up in Rattle, with the controls set for the sun and a behemoth of a Wookie gargling directives at me to hit the hyperdrive.”

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