Two Poems by Jessica Rowshandel

ex gf moon landing

okay so naturally you were commander
neil armstrong. i was buzz. 
it’s the 80s now. the moon is long gone.
some souvenir rocks are safe at nasa.
it’s 2012 now. neil, man, you died.
it was your heart of course. 

so your wife finally came clean.
it’s her time now, maybe a book deal.
call the national enquirer! 
call the sun! tell them! 
the apollo program. 
a hollywood hoax. stanley kubrik
does excellent adaptations. 

your name is michael collins 
and you’re still alive, but 
neil armstrong was 
a better name, a man’s man name,
even has the word strong

michael collins is a plain name
the one in the story who never 
got to walk on the moon 
even after traveling all that way.
he hung back in the space taxi. of course
buzz is my real name. the rocket
sounds our bodies made. 
i guess i should have known 
neil, you were just as real 
as that moon mission. 
it was critical 
to beat the russians.


Landscape of an Apartment Rental

My reflections stream from ceiling to floor

an ocean gyre spins the dishes of clothes. 

I wash myself in white rapids and foam, 

sing of old trees peeled from antique stores. 

Instead of owls in the cabinets, 
trinkets for the crows. 

I summon twelve stark suns, 
call both the dusk and dawn, 

fasten time to a film reel 
at half and double speeds. 

The springtime creatures frolic in the mirage that hangs

from a gypsum wall and I can shut them out

as with the stars. What is left— 

me and my dog, 
two lazy hogs who sleep all day 

on the cotton mountain dropped in this place

by the Black skin in my blood 

whose hands hold us. 
Then we were dynamos. 
Now we are lost in the heath.


Jessica Rowshandel (they/them) is a nonbinary Afro-Taíno Puerto Rican + Persian writer, visual artist, and musician. Their creative writing has been published in HiConcept MagazineEpiphanies and Late Realizations of LoveFever Spores: The Queer Reclamation of William S. Burroughs, and Mid-Level Management Literary Magazine. For more information please visit Twitter: @JRowshandel.