We pull off
to a road shack
in Massachusetts
to watch men walk

on the moon. We did   
the same thing
for three two one
blast off, and now

we watch the same men   
bounce in and out
of craters. I want
a Coke and a hamburger.

Because the men
are walking on the moon   
which is now irrefutably   
not green, not cheese,

not a shiny dime floating   
in a cold blue,
the way I'd thought,
the road shack people don't

notice we are a black   
family not from there,   
the way it mostly goes.   
This talking through

static, bounces in space-
boots, tethered   
to cords is much   
stranger, stranger

even than we are.

  • Elizabeth Alexander, “Apollo” from Poetry (April 1992). Reprinted with the permission of the author.

  • Source: The Poetry Anthology, 1912-2002 (Poetry magazine, 2002)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I was surprised how attached I got to my poems. I've had "Degrees of Gray in Philipsburg" memorized since my sophomore year, and whenever I get nervous or anxious about something I recite it to myself. "
Sarah Calvin-Stupfel
2018 OR POL Champ