On the way back I was cool as glass,
damp cool the way condensation settles
on the windscreen, early morning,
late October. I was hard as glass too,

hard the way a marble is hard
until rolled against a steel bearing
and realises it’s cracked. I was mulling
it over. You were up there

on the surface of the moon and I
was hurtling towards the earth,
like that man testing the limit
of the human body by rising, high altitude

in a helium balloon, then jumping
back to earth at 700 mph, hoping
that when he exceeded the speed of sound
he would simply feel the air ripple

over his Lycra-clad body, feel like an eel
swimming upstream in spring, not start
to break up, lose consciousness,
not feel anymore.


Julie Mellor