You’re the Astronaut

by Andrew Collard

You walk with heavy
steps through unnamed
visions, (where?) the ground
coming into focus:
a path, following faint
tracks. You pass a note, half-
buried in decaying
leaves, and pause. (the stillness
doesn’t end you
.) Returning
slowly, you retrieve
the dirtied envelope—it has no
address, but beneath your earnest
stare, the envelope begins
to bear your name. It says
your hand is a shovel, and as
your eyes tear up, you
begin to dig. (all the leaves
are envelopes
.) A few feet down
you find a bundle of papers and
triumphantly read them
one by one. The first
says that you’re wearing
boots and helmet; your hand’s
not clumsy, only gloved: (you’re
the astronaut
.) this surface isn’t
fit for life. The second note
is inscrutable. (you like the shapes.)
The third is full of partial
words, enough so you can
fill in the blanks: it says
you have an infinite supply
of paper, so you write
a note that says, “You’re
the astronaut.” You write
that hands are shovels, and that envelopes
are everywhere; this bundle
isn’t the only one. (Who?) The hole
is big enough to hold a child. You fill it
with your words and dig another, leaving
fading trails behind as you add up
disparate lines, wondering.









Andrew Collard lives in Madison Heights, MI, and attends Oakland University. Other recent poems can be found online at Juked, One Throne, and Rattle’s “Poets Respond” feature.


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