This Brave O’erhanging Firmament

Suddenly the earth gives up on us, shrugs its shoulders and lets go its jealous grasp. Whoops, we say, and up we go, shuddering, like taking an extra step at the top of the stairs and realizing there’s nothing under your foot, except this time you bring your foot down and there’s no step there, no floor, nothing, just air. We keep putting our feet down, not quite sure what happened, always hoping, hoping.

We never do come down, never come back to the earth that gave up on us, but go up and up until we hit the black roof and pop out into space. Space is bright, not dark at all, not like we were expecting. We bathe in light, swallow it, chew it up, lick our lips for more. We’ve never had anything like it before. We wonder how we lived before. We can’t hear each other, of course, but we can see perfectly. We wave and spin and make faces.

Why are we here? Where are we going? We try to think about these things, and sometimes we remember how terrible things were before, how heavy we felt, how thin and insubstantial the light was, and we wonder why we stood it for so long. Out here past the sky we swim in light and tell each other jokes, lots of jokes, always new ones, silently laughing, always going up and up, forever.