Why Astronauts are Sad

Photograph of Buzz Aldren on the surface of the moon, 1968.

by Matthew Pacuruco

Why are astronauts sad?

Well, for one man to do the job
they have to conquer what’s in front of them.
That can be a black hole
eating them whole.
It can be an asteroid
colliding against them and bursting into pieces
or it’s simply the oxygen
—not enough to breathe in and out of their lungs.

In the midst of the pure black sky,
a multitude of unimaginable dust.
The stars are an escape.

The amount of pain to distinguish
which star is the one to be followed.
One might explode a man’s universe
where the unknown is brighter.
Another might inherit a man’s dream
where the darkness is engulfed.

Over a cone of fast light comes sadness,
a chaos that consumes many things.
(An astronaut is supposed to know this part.)

What happens here
is the awakening.
Whether they’re in this deadly point
or up in the cosmos
unpredictable reality does it for them.
Surviving and coming back resourceful is the goal.
However absorbed as a star
is the end for you.

No matter the routes that are taken
a wish upon a star is only dreamed upon.

Matthew Pacuruco is a sophomore pursuing a degree in Creative Writing and will soon be transferring to Queens College (to get that expensive Bachelor Degree!). He has recently embraced his sexual identity as a sad gay latino. He hopes to connect with the LGBTQIA community and others with his poetry and stories. Follow @__matty__ for more content.

Image: Buzz Aldren on the moon. National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 1967. Courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Open Access.