It is understood by people adorned in white coats,
expertise hanging off them like bright lights
flickering on the conifer trees,
that mice and starmen succumb to the white taste
when denied access to companionship,
when freedom and interests are deprived,
when the sun and stars are hid,
the lid closed, the maze too well known.
Astronauts understand the white coats
they once had a smile as worthy as any
but the smile
came at a cost and the payment
when it came
took the smile and flung them back into the cosmos.
It hangs there still, orbiting forever,
a slipper frozen…if studied, the shimmer
the joy they once held perpetuated
as flickering cries into the void; a hope they might return,
unable to fathom — permanence is
the fluid state of letting go.