At 280 miles a minute.
The continents and seas trail back
In hypersonic grace.
The push of icy wet oxygen
Thrusting us just above the clouds
If we’re lucky.
The rocket’s empty lungs fall away
Heaving us up to the edge
Of gravity’s confining grip.
Not quite to the cosmos,
But not quite earthmen anymore.
Lucky to be so insignificant.
Just a scrap of steerable debris.