Life in Outer Space


The people vowed never to leave.

The people adopted the same breed

of dog for thirty years. The animals

always named the same thing.

A girl living in space sleeps in slips

and dresses. Falls asleep in piles of leaves,

and braids the vines of strawberry beds

as fathers father the land.

You want to love where you’re from,

but home is a heartache: Calves weaned

from their mothers. The eternal

calling out. The cries and suffering

a hellish lullaby that you still hear

from space. A cry for assurance, a cry

for a broken, disrupted nature cutting

through the black stillness. You want it back:

The sound out the window as the house

kept you. The constellations memorized

from a book. For a long time you wanted

to know everything about outer space.

To prove there’s some unseen life

watching and recording you. You prayed

for a touch of the exotic. Let my body be

a landing strip for anything else.

No more landscapes. No more night.

No questions, not for a while

at least, when you stand in the field and stare.

Tasha Cotter

Tasha Cotter is the author of the poetry collections Some Churches (Gold Wake Press, 2013), That Bird Your Heart (Finishing Line Press, 2013), and Girl in the Cave (Tree Light Books, 2016). Winner of the 2015 Delphi Poetry Series, her work has appeared in journals such as Contrary Magazine, NANO fiction, and Booth. A contributor to Women in Clothes (Blue Rider Press, 2014), The Poets on Growth Anthology (Math Paper Press, 2015), and the 2017 Poet’s Market (Writer’s Digest Books), she makes her home in Lexington, Kentucky where she works in higher education.