Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Inner Space

Academic journal article Pennsylvania Literary Journal

Inner Space

Article excerpt

Stephen Hawking,

tied to his wheelchair and his talking computer,

hoped to fly weightless

just below outer space

for one short trip.

Outliving Lou Gehrig,

trapped in that immobile body

but with children

and grandchildren,

he is not tranquil in the head.

He will soar in the arc,

courtesy of Zero Gravity Corporation,

a profitable private company,

he insists, with his medical team,

and feel the heaviness of heightened gravity

alternate with the euphoric lightness

of being freed from the force guiding Newton's apple.

Humans will have to flee this earth

in some future time,

he states in his metallic machine voice,

when it will become uninhabitable,

as he says it inevitably will,

for his and our descendants,

and he, ever the intrepid experimenter,

would test the possibilities

insofar as he is able. …

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