A toast to something beautiful flapping in the wind
To something beautiful flapping in the wind above thebeach houses—A blue bird?—No, a blue bag.To her breath— raindrops in the begonia bed.My eyesight is rainstorms. Drop. drop—To 4 a.m., her first ocean—Everyone is sleepingexcept Oona and the ocean,Oona and the ocean.I try to explain in whale song I try to explain incloud and water droplet. Drop, drop—Spending time with a baby is spending time with somethingthat has lived her entire life in an ocean and just sproutedlegs for land—I am Copernicus using the planet of my bodyto umbrella the windas she feeds—Ouch!—I stick my fingers in her mouthand she's grown sharp little fish teeth— Drop,Everyone is sleeping except Oona and the ocean,Oona and the oceanand the little fish teeth. Drop, drop, drop drop,I tell time by counting teeth-marks around the crookednipple.
From the book, Little Astronaut: Poems by J. Hope Stein.
Reprinted by permission of Andrews McMeel Publishing, a division of Andrews McMeel Universal.
Copyright © 2022 by Jennifer Hope Stein.
"J. Hope is one of my favorite poets. little astronaut is a beautiful orchestration of the strange experience we call human. There is humor here and wisdom. This astronaut shows us how to find, among the most mundane details, a little bit of magic. In our era of so much destruction and disappointment, what luck to come across this bundle of laughter."
—Ilya Kaminsky, author of Deaf Republic
"In little astronaut, J. Hope Stein writes a parental love so new to her, so overwhelming, that the poems read almost as if Stein were the first person to feel parental love at all. Rarely do such poems so thoroughly inhabit the moment. These poems convince me, effortlessly, that I am seeing the world new."
—Shane McCrae, author of The Gilded Auction Block and Forgiveness Forgiveness
"The brave, electric, hilarious and indelibly true poems of little astronaut convey the utter shock that is, has always been, and will always be…parenthood."
—Jean Hanff Korelitz, author of New York Times bestseller The Plot