One summer night, you say to her, come outside, bring the wine and food. The sky clear, full of stars, the moon full and close, ripe grapefruit waiting. The backyard chirps with crickets, rustles with windblown leaves. There’s a cannon-like contraption in the yard. You say, follow me, let’s take a trip. Where, she whispers, always your nighttime conspirator. To the moon, you say. From the contraption you launch grappling hook and rope upward, catch that low-hanging moon. She says, how, but you cover her mouth with your hand, say, no questions, we’ll put food and drink in my backpack and climb. She and you ascend. Don’t ask questions of science, you say. Time, distance, gravity, vacuums, breathable air. Don’t ask, how do you do this. Most importantly, you say, don’t look down.
In mere minutes you arrive. The surface powdery, wide field of impact craters. You point to where Neil Armstrong walked, show her the planets. Look, the Earth, you say. Her eyes become bewildered, spinning to re-grasp reality. Since I can’t ask, she says, tell me anything. I’m a cartographer of celestial bodies, you say, I’ve drawn maps of this desolate rock in dreams. In days and weeks that follow, you’ll tell her about your special powers. She’ll reveal to you hers. Together you’ll halt the world. For now, though, both of you sit, drink the wine, hold hands. Don’t worry about climbing down, you say, always conscious of her fears.
Stars twinkle. Glasses clink to a toast. To the universe, our maps waiting to be drawn.