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Consider the mathematics of my German father.

The unconditional tears of my Filipino mother.

Call me Spock, but it was logic versus emotion

every day on Earth.

Out in space, there are over a million miles

between asteroids in an asteroid field.

It’s pretty much impossible to hit one unless you actually

aim for it.

Not so on Star Trek. There, they have to grit their teeth,

put their shields up, crash a couple times and assess the


As a kid, I was amazed by the skill of those spacemen,

“skill” which I soon realized was nothing more than sheer


Hitting an asteroid? There’s just no excuse for that.

A modest revelation. But these revelations

strung themselves together, orbited the planet

in ways that messed with things like gravity and light.

It went like this: You knew you could fly

until your first attempt left you with two broken teeth.

You knew you were like all the other kids,

until your best friend said, No, you’re not.

And he was right.

And in that moment, something shifted.

The galaxy became real, and in its realness, the asteroids

seemed so much closer than you thought.

You were half-alien, staring down an eternity

that was both limitless and dangerous

as a captain’s voice boomed from above:

Brace for impact, we’re going down.

from MezzaninesFind more by Matthew Olzmann at the library

Copyright © 2013 Matthew Olzmann
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Alice James Books.

Published in Matthew Olzmann Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.