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This writing is driven by bravado. Specifically, the rhetoric of the vulgar, both in terms of “vulgar” as some offensive phrase or word, and harking back to its etymology: of the common people or tongue. As such, vulgarity is simplified, often efficient speech. It is direct, and avoids tact and gray areas. There is only male and female, light and dark, in the body and outside of it. This is why the speaker is so drawn to the bar scene, the pickup line, the hookups. In the haze of the inebriated mind, it is easier to function by way of “yes” and “no.” There is no political correctness. There are things that embarrass and things that don’t. In short, in the bar, in a place that suggests we just say “fuck it,” we are reduced to our sexes and associated gender expectations.


Esmė is this—who acts as both the judged and judge. Frank is this—who quips the night away. They are, for all intents and purposes, heightened expectations of gender, inherently contradictory, and supported by the poems’ reckless performances. Because that’s what’s remembered in the morning. They are the characters taking shape while explaining a dream, except you have to accept the consequences.


And why space? There really isn’t a good transition into space. It took us 10 years to do so, and it was clunky and patriotic. Before that, though, we had mythologies. Space is the make-believe landscape of escape. The vulgar can be forgotten or repurposed. Loneliness can be repurposed. Like our culture has traditionally approached it, space is salvation. It is a concept that houses the ability to let conflated, often contradictory ideas (ie: science and mythology), exist. Because that’s how humans have forever approached it. Our galaxy is littered with names of mixed mythologies. Saturn (named after a Roman god) has a moon, Enceladus (named after a Greek giant) whose features are named after characters, places, and events from "One Thousand and One Nights." And Enceladus is currently the most viable place to find life, the ultimate reason to search darkness.


So, while there may be loose guides or explanations to how and why features of space are named as they are, they come to be an amalgamation of mythologies, places enveloped by overlapping beliefs and mysteries and religions and hope. New rules can exist here. New biologies. A place where concepts like sex are examined if an alien race cannot procreate. As such, ironies of the mundane come to light. Pickup lines and hookups get exposed for their redundancies. And the speaker who escapes loneliness through bravado and hookups? He risks, through sex, the chance of procreation. Bringing a child into loneliness. Into space.


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