Let me tell you this: history is a nonsense.
They blanked me out of their books, their stories,
their minuscule minds but here is the truth:
Take a pinch of stolen black powder,
a man in a moon, a love of the light
and the blackest of nights –
this is the real history of rockets.
And me? I was a lamp makers daughter,
girl of the light before stars were born,
who felt the pull of the moon embrace her
like soft silver, luring her up, up and beyond
the once smooth surface, to the man inside.
‘You can not marry the man in the moon’
they warned, but his light was a silver dawn,
and his face like white glass, he turned me
like a tide, towards his shore.
I would like to pretend the next part was hard,
but it was as easy as falling up.
I tunneled through that town like a mole
in the dark, stole every lamp, paper lantern,
each burning clay pot. They called me Light Thief,
spat at my name. Their darkness made it so easy to see.
I cradled that ﬁrst born rocket like the baby
I would never have until his face shone across
the water, the rocket, my eyes, the match
and boom. I missiled my way to the moon,
my man and my love.
And here is where I wish to let go.
Be a history book instead of a truth.
But some of us don’t get the privilege
of rewriting the facts, the lies of the past
are the presents we gift ourselves.
He saw me coming, his light was so strong
I closed my eyes a moment to long,
landed the wrong side of him, the dark side.
Here there is no light but my tears
which I scatter into the night sky hoping to see a ﬂash
of his face, but I never do. I am a shadow girl now
and shadows do not get redemption
not even in the history books.
Stephanie Arsoska was one of the runner-ups in our 24/7 Poetry Challenge, part of CAMPUS Digital Open Day 2014