A grapefruit-sized meteorite
crashed through the ceiling of a bedroom
in a New Jersey home, and people are barely
talking about the circumstances of the intrusion.

Maybe there are too many distractions –

In the same news cycle two inmates
escaped from a Philadelphia correctional
center through a hole in a wire fence
about the same size as the meteorite.

Both approximately 4-by-6 inches,
give or take approximations
and satellite imagery.

One hole
viewers look at the stars.

The other
a glance towards Earth.

Rarely do infractions or offenses
occur at eye level –

triangular roof frames
rectangular cages
compacted soil
search dog barks
chains of multiple dimensions

As the black rock slipped from the belt
of asteroids somewhere between Jupiter
and Mars, neighborhoods in Philadelphia
were searched and put on lockdown.

in need of safeguarding

the meteorite slipped
from gravitational arcs

as the men slipped
out of manmade cells

(s)paces untraced

The 2.2-pound rock
from another world is approximately
4.5 billion years old.

Of the pair that escaped in Philadelphia –
one is 24, the other a mere 18. Held for gun
violations, narcotics, and murder charges.

Belts and budgets strapped.
Objects in need of ID.
Too many crash landings.

I wonder –

if space allegedly belongs
to all mankind,
why is safety only an idealized
version of reality

if security remains subject
random occurrences,
why doesn’t everyone
break free of existing spaces

how have we traveled so far
only to unravel so wrong

About the Poem

A reflection on spaces where intrusions meet exclusions and collisions of many kinds.

About the Author

Jen Schneider is an educator who lives, works, and writes in small spaces throughout Pennsylvania.

1 thought on “Space”

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