Outer Space Is the Suburbs

If Jeff Bezos’s mushroom-topped rocket
dipped into the foyer of space
just as you got an Amazon package
of reusable Saran Wrap
delivered to your doorstep
in a subdivision on Pinecrest Drive,
that’s because the suburbs
and outer space are the same.

We invented them in the 1950s.
Rocketry was exciting: we blew up families
in the desert, plastic grinning ones
in model kitchens. Sputnik blinked
as we sent up the Jetsons, a nuclear
family that lived in a bubble above the weather.
Life expectancy swelled. We invented trash.

In the ’80s, E.T., a botanist
from a foreign planet, landed
on a hill above a suburb
in a hot air balloon. He lifted
baby pine trees by the roots.
When he died, he was resurrected
secularly, like a flower.

Now, at the end of the world, I drive
my silver Toyota on gridlocked highways.
I’d ride my bike, but my city
is a jungle of suburbs.
Once, when I hit every light,
an elderly golden retriever on a leash
beat my car the two blocks to dinner,
a fusion restaurant in a strip mall
with plants plump and Jurassic
as Saturn’s 82 moons.