The First Man/Woman Team to Mars

“Fucking magnificent,” the man astronaut says, his suit nearly perfect
and sealed. Slick gas fumes caress their nostrils
as the rocket engines warm ten minutes before launch. The woman gazes
into some inner caution, the image of that little girl she was

crying at the table, her cheek still stung from her father’s hand.
And now they each step to the platform, rise to their small tube
at the tip of the monstrous thing. He allows her in first, then ducks
casually and sets his back snug into the seat, as the launch crew

straps them down and leaves. The man set of hands and the woman set of hands
each busy themselves with mundane tasks while still on Earth,
though their labored breath suggests anticipation. They would be the first
to gasp at the valleys of Mars. No humans would understand. And they

would fuck, they agreed, fuck all the way through space, feet
unbound from that sphere of dirt. He has a hard-on now, thinking of her floating
form as his heart rate registers on a ground control screen, alarming
a medical team of three. “I can’t wait to get up there with you,” he says

to the space-suited woman astronaut

and reached for her hand as the countdown ended.
She, red-haired and clean, clasped his glove quickly before exhaling.
Then the numbers went backward from ten, and they groaned from the pad,
sucked immensely downward, exhilarating moments

of consciousness, and then the heavy edging upward,
Blackness seeped  through the window view. Within minutes they ripped off
their restraints and flew to their controls, reading, and turning, and
clicking their way on a trajectory to Mars. “Why do you think they let a man

and woman go together,” he asked, and then floating close her ear,  “God,
I want to suck your tits.” She gave a hard crank to a valve before turning to him
and then moved her lips in the most deliberate way. She responded with fierceness,
“Because they want us to fuck, you fool. Those men believe

this empty space needs to be filled with something. So fine,  get your goddammed mouth between my legs while I dump these last tanks.”
They hurtled through space in weightless carnality, he in no hurry to find
life anywhere else, and she along for the ride.


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