by Charles K. Carter

“If uncoiled, the DNA in all the cells in your body would stretch 10 billion miles – from here to Pluto and back.”

Discover Magazine

you gifted melodies
of pop standards to my ears,
eyes all starry while singing
frank sinatra’s “fly me to the moon.”
but we could go farther than that.
you took me on a trip to the stars,
loosened my anxiety’s grip,
gently uncoiled me to my fullest self,
overflowing dipper of milk.
we joined into one celestial body,
untangling our demons and ghosts
until we were astronauts headed for
jupiter’s icy rings
and then onto some goldilocks orb
in a galaxy far, far away.
we were fueled by the naïve hope of young love.
we were adventurers.
we were astronauts.
we were astronauts.
i am just a lovesick fool,
half the man i used to be.
i thought i could remedy
this ache by wallowing
in the red planet’s haze
but now i am a ball of melancholy,
a child’s bitter, sticky fist
barely able to slingshot
myself to the moon.

Charles K. Carter (he/him) is a queer poet from Iowa. He holds an MFA from Lindenwood University. His poems have appeared in several literary journals. He is the author of Read My Lips (David Robert Books, November 2022) and several chapbooks. He can be found on Twitter and Instagram @CKCpoetry.


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