My job is polishing the bio-shield  
the other sky-shiners and me.  
Once each moon-phase we zip  
into Teflon jumpsuits, snap on our helmets  
and tether ourselves to  cleats  
that stud the spinning Krylon  
sphere, wide as Texas used to be,  
our ball of hope, our Mother-dome.  
Armed with robotic cleaning pads  
and plenty of astrowindex,  
we circle her by longitudes,  
removing space grime as we float  
through the cool ash of stars  
that have closed for business.  
I'm a GS-7 and I perform  
a critical function. 

Copyright 2000, Chris Cantu 

Chris Cantu was born in St. Louis, Missouri and has lived in the Seattle area for over twenty years, where she has variously toiled as a medical research assistant, interior designer, wife and mother, and most recently as an associate editor for Switched-on Gutenberg.  Her work has appeared in Flashpoint and Crab Creek Review.  She plans to complete the rest of her M.F.A. at the University of Washington during the current millennium.