We’ll see Jupiter soon. It will be close enough to touch, lined up right below the moon. Maybe we could climb that hill, the one that’s laced with river birch. There’s a clearing, and we’re far enough away from the city (the stars still flicker and melt). We can bring a quilt and some iced tea in mason jars and wait until the sky goes orange, then purple, then black.
And when Jupiter comes, and it shines brilliant and ivory, we can tell one another about how only deadly gases and toxic storms are allowed to live there. That the red spot is violently tempered and unkind. We live Here and not There, for whatever reason that is. And we’ll thank God we live Here, even though Here is sick and shaking. If we lived There, we’d be burnt to crisps and all alone. At least we have rainforests Here; Jupiter never had any at all.
“Our moon doesn’t have a name, though.” You’ll tell me, your forehead furrowed and your hands tight at your sides. “She’s just up there.”
But listen, please. She’s close enough walk on. And the men who breathed in her dust were able to feel the ink of space pressing down on their skin through their spacesuits, s0 that’s something, isn’t it? Our moon is so poetic that she doesn’t need to be called Io, Europa, Ganymede, or Callisto. We each get to name her whatever we want. So what will you name her?