Space ship

Not space car, space train, or space plane.  Ship.

Outer space is traversed in any direction, while no car intrudes on the surface itself: it admits no through-traffic.  A road deepens the horizon, but is itself without depth.  A car can only pass over.

A train is bound still more closely.  Trains seldom stray.

Airplanes, more similar in engineering, nonetheless fall short: more like bouncing cars than spaceships.  Or something thrown, a bullet.  Merely freed into the Over of the land-surface, still held fast in beginning and end by long runways, deep baseball gloves that are not deep at all, but just a differently shaped surface–

The ocean, however, is more than a surface: it’s dark.  Densely hued, dyed, wine-dark: heavy.  It’s heavy, and if you can’t tread water, you sink.  What road or runway could ever be dangerous the way the surface of the sea can, pulling?  And what sky?–that false depth of which everything falls short, that glass bottom pushing back, gravity’s railing?  The ocean’s surface is deeper than the day’s remotest blue.  And so when naming the space ship, we look to the night’s only correlate, which, though a surface, reflects the heaviness of the abyss.

I often see objects, tiny objects, old-fashioned scissors or thimbles or jewelery, steel or silver or ruby–or fish, which are themselves jewels, goldfish, carp–so hard, sharp-cut, densely dyed that they must be heavy; that charm, draw, in their heaviness, as teaspoons of neutron star draw the moon off its orbit.  The earth is set with an abyssal jewel, whose densest gravity is thought in science fiction: never lit, whose heaviness will never give birth, but always lures, enfolds, binds.


One Response to “Space ship”

  1. Clavdia Chauchaut Says:

    This is beautiful.

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