WHAT I'M DOING HEREMy 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.