Andres Rojas came to the U.S. from Cuba at 13. He has an M.F.A. and a J.D. from the University of Florida and currently works for the U.S. Department of the Treasury. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, Barrow Street, Massachusetts Review, and New England Review. Visit him here.
an excerpt from Retired Russian Engineer Visits Kennedy Space Center
Not out of reverence but out of breath
I almost knelt before the Saturn V,
though I felt reverence – that giant
on its back, slain by years
and budgets, how it could do its job.
Its five F-1s dwarfed me to child-scale.
They were time machines. They could
the shortest span humanly possible
is to blink an eye or snap two fingers –
we had to fire thirty engines in far less.
Couldn’t be done. Or not by us.
I remember looking at the moon, July
twentieth, nineteen sixty nine,
seventeen days after the Baikonur