Lunar Love

Tara Isabel Zambrano

We fly to the moon to exchange our vows. Karen and Mia, our suits say with little red hearts next to them. On earth, for the past year, we have wrestled with this idea to go to the moon, we have argued about the endless waitlist, the long travel and spending all our savings. We have been excited about doing something that everyone we know does these days since they find nothing exciting about the earth anymore.  We have spent sleepless nights after practicing in reduced gravity chambers, stayed in our PJs and pigtails for days, thinking of endless space, soaking up the light. We have broken up thrice and made up, the moon waxing and waning in the background, its simplicity, its grandeur, pulling us in like tides.

The wedding on moon event planner warns us that there will be no holding hands or kissing the bride, there will be no flowers. Only words that we can carve on the moon rocks we bring back. We are ready to be startled by the void, the cramped spaceship, to be together on something so far removed from remembering to put the trashcans out on Wednesdays, hating neighbors who didn’t approve of us as a couple, alternating between CBD and Melatonin, waiting for IVF to work. We touch our bellies, try to imagine the weightlessness in our bones. Will the days feel fluffy? Will we sync up on our cycles? The planner makes us sign a hundred-page contract if the mission control loses contact with the spaceship. If we are gone, kidnapped by the space.

We land on the moon and the barren grey shell overcomes us, as if it has done something irreparably wrong. We click a selfie next to a sore crater. We hum our favorite songs. I do. Our helmets touch. We whisper our promises. Your eyes catch mine. I do. You pick up some dust, I collect some rocks. ‘Till death do us part. No, not that, something else. The silence grows on us. This seems like a wonderland, all ours. No Neighbors. Until, at a distance, another ship lands. White dots on a blank canvas. A vast ocean of darkness ahead, as if we are kids on a beach, up late on a new moon night.

We bounce around, you make a cartoon face. I giggle. I push you slightly, want to feel your warmth again. I want to ask you, when will I be able to take you to that famous hotdog joint at the edge of our town, and pretend to read your palm and get you all excited? I want to tell you we’ll stay married no matter what. I’ll make dinner for you and you’ll do our laundry. We’ll get pregnant one day. You point in a direction as if you saw something. Perhaps a star, its light reaching us long after it has burned out. For a few minutes, I follow but see nothing. You are still looking, your head tilted right like you do when you are focused or pushing your tongue inside my mouth and I recall our first kiss, my fingers in your curly hair, electric from the contact. Later that afternoon, at my place, our skins stitched together, my lips on your left breast. Your face glowing as if lit with a kilowatt bulb. My slick fingers dug between your legs, then a pink explosion, a small wet moon glistening on the sheet, quickly disappearing. Afterwards, the dim light flickering on our toes like Morse Code, a hint of love. A room of lavender, yellow, aching red.

I lean in but you have moved away, and I see your insulated boots leaving giant footprints that don’t look like they belong to your shapely feet.

You have reached the crater. The white of your suit blurs along the edges. I can’t make out anything clearly. The absence of color fills the space between us: fluid, thick, hard to cut through. I miss the sun.

On our way back, there is no language. I look for signs, imaginary orbits that keep the planets latched in, the gravity that snaps our hearts below our heads. There is only clean black, a rattling vibration and smooth slipping of needles in their gauges. Everything as planned. I make a mental list of to-do things when we return: mow the overgrown grass, erase all the pictures and research on the moon, from our phones, scan the sperm donor files once again: 11320  is a football player, 17216 is a Harvard graduate, 21412 is a painter. I turn towards you, and you are staring at me, your hand on my thigh like you do when you about to fall asleep and we are shooting down like a comet, home bound, light creases on our cheeks, catching a glimpse of each other’s eyes.


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