Outer Space and Kansas by Matt Mason

But have you ever been walking on the moon
in Wichita, Kansas, freeway rushing
through your head like a Springsteen song—
except for the Wal-Mart,
Circuit City, Office Max, Best Buy.
You duck under the pine tree
set up in the median, walking on the moon
in Wichita, Kansas with a hotel key-card
floating in your pocket; shake the trip
out your legs, watch stars pop the horizon
in red and blue letters, headlights and taillights
and Open signs. And you
step from the sidewalk to grass getting ready
for the first lawnmower of spring,
you dig in your feet and crane your head,
looking for where you came from, up through the blur
of empty space, walking on the moon
in Wichita, Kansas, your shoes weighted down
to keep them off the sky.

***

Matt Mason runs poetry programming for the U.S. State Department, working in Nepal, Romania, Botswana and Belarus. He is the recipient of a Pushcart Prize for his poem “Notes For My Daughter Against Chasing Storms” and his work can be found in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Ted Kooser’s American Life in Poetry. The author of Things We Don’t Know We Don’t Know (The Backwaters Press, 2006) and The Baby That Ate Cincinnati (Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2013), Matt is based out of Omaha with his wife, the poet Sarah McKinstry-Brown, and daughters Sophia and Lucia. See more at matt.midverse.com.

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