PALE BLUE FIRE

Carl Sagan once said, In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

We sent a rocket to space today with two fathers tucked away inside, onlookers watching with heartbeats lodged in throats and eyes threatening rain. Brave hope, I call it, when the ship shuttles skyward. There is more to our world than the pain we inhabit. How we welcome the unknown, yet tethered to our soil are fathers dying. Tear gas and milk and piles of bodies lacerated by shards of glass. Tug-of-war for barricades, cars set aflame, rubber bullets lacing skin.

On this pale blue dot, pale blue fire. Everyone burns.

Yet still, the darker man dies.

Today one man’s son watched his father’s ship shatter the atmosphere. Another man’s son watched his father battered and bleeding on the littered streets of a city that refuses to claim them.

Do you love us? Do you still care? I asked whatever benevolent force can still hear me. Of course I still love you, it replied.

It’s the 30th of May in the year 2020 and love isn’t enough anymore.

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