Stephen Michael McDowell

every astronaut i've done sex with

the first astronaut i did sex with
lay naked lit by reflected
photons of earth
while i stood in the dark
afraid and alert and almost not there
the night before the 2-time
league champion
lunar eclipses
lost in a crippling upset
to the brooklyn nets

the second astronaut i did sex with
showed me a photo on her instagram
of her doing a thumbs up
standing next to george bush jr’s
cybernetic minotaur body
his brain was visible
which seemed bizarre, unintentional
but if your head is a cow’s head
and your body is a trillion nanobots
arranged to look like
adriana lima from the neck down
and you’ve been emperor of
pluto for more than two millennia
and you’re standing less than two feet away
from an award-winning fellatio courtesan
a brain is at best an ornament
at worst a sort of sad relic

the third astronaut i did sex with
told me to put my big earth cock
into her little venutian pussy
but awareness that she was born
somewhere near the center of orion’s belt
distracted me and i went flaccid
so we watched paola rey’s
‘maquina del amor’ for a while
on pornhub until i was mostly erect,
the last message i remember getting
on myspace
was her saying she found my wallet
under her futon

the fourth astronaut i did sex with
kept asking if i was finished,
mars was in transit against the sun
and her husband was doing an interview
for the europa aeronautics and space administration
and would want to know later
if his hair looked good on spreecast
suffice to say
he didn’t see her in the chat
and i got deployed
to the inner solar system
before we reached the dark side of jupiter

the fifth astronaut i did sex with
was from a planet i hadn’t heard of
and couldn’t pronounce the name of now
if i tried
she called me the other day on skype
and said she felt afraid
we’d never be in the same system
at the same time ever again
i said that seemed probable
but the fact that we met at all
was grossly improbable
and not to linger on math
that that was why we phased it out
‘infinity was a dumb idea’ i said

the sixth astronaut i did sex with
still believed in astrology
it’s been three-thousand years
since anyone’s cared
if sagittarius is compatible
with cancer,
she said it said online
that we should ‘take it slow’
but since she left for a mission
to andromeda
after only two titanic months together
and i’m not willing to wait
5 million years for anyone
i guess we’ll never know

the seventh astronaut i did sex with
spoke spanish fluently
i don’t know why
it was confusing because
no one had spoken at all in decades
and the standard telepathic
language at the time
was entirely derived from
the lyrics to psy’s ‘gangam style’

the eighth astronaut i did sex with
asked me to move with her to mars
i did
i don’t regret it
but the anti-ultraviolet injections
mandatory for extended stays on that planet
made my organs turn metallic gold
they still kind of are in parts
so i don’t now, but at one point did
have ‘all gold errythang’

the ninth astronaut i did sex with
seduced me mid-solar storm
we had lost control of our ship
and were the only crew members left alive
i couldn’t tell if it was hot because our bodies
were colliding
or because our ship
was about to do the same thing with a star
so when the simulation stopped
and i realized it had all been a cogency test
i said ‘come on guys’ and kept going
and got promoted to corporal
which is a level of responsibility
i never wanted to have

the tenth astronaut i did sex with
had never done sex
with another astronaut before
she got freaked out
and made me stop
because she was scared
she’d get internal gamma ray poisoning
in her vagina
which isn’t entirely ridiculous

the eleventh astronaut i did sex with
i felt sure was an alien
until they took off their waste
recycling apparatus,
turns out,
they were only half alien

the twelfth astronaut i did sex with
was from the same system, planet,
and city as me
i subtweeted her ‘#rare’ for a couple months
until my girlfriend on mars
figured out how twitter worked
and started subtweeting her ‘#whore’

the thirteenth astronaut i did sex with
wasn’t really an astronaut
she was an amorphous spacebeast
disguised as one
she kept saying in crowded places
during an interplanetary space convention
‘does anyone want to do sex to me!’
and flashing her breasts enthusiastically
most people laughed and engaged her
i think they mostly thought she was joking
she wasn’t
we went to a secluded part of the space station together
and it turned out she was an alien
ostracized by her species
who wanted another lifeform to firmly squeeze
her gelatinous form for a while
she projected into my dream that night
and showed me her homeworld
i wanted to learn more about it from her in the morning
but her body suit wore off
and her mothership came and beamed her away
before the rest of the crew woke

the fourteenth astronaut i did sex with
was a spacemom

the fifteenth astronaut i did sex with
didn’t orgasm or pretend to orgasm
or seem interested in orgasming
she was more interested in trying to quantify
how many positions we could achieve
given zero G’s and 10 cubic meters
in her— ironically limited space
for something considered a ‘space’
especially since it was built
specifically for launching into space
—’artist’s space’

the sixteenth astronaut i did sex with
was one of those genetically enhanced
amazonian super-babes
bred especially for living
on tiny, dark, dwarf planets
her skin was bioluminescent
and her forehead was enormous
the gravity was so low
that when she arched back
while coming
beads of sweat launched from
her prominent frontal lobe
and lingered in the air for a moment
like diamonds in the sky

the seventeenth astronaut i did sex with
lived in a space commune on a satellite
in orbit around the rogue planet melancholia
when i asked her if she felt bad
that they were on a collision course with earth
she said ‘only if there’s nothing left there—’
‘except fields of orchids—’
‘and a mountain range of dachshund puppies—’
‘or i guess, maybe, if my klonopin runs out’

the eighteenth astronaut i did sex with
is a space poet
so i guess we have that in common
she also currently lives
with her parents at a space station near
where she was first discharged into the universe
so i guess we have that in common too
she sent me a message on gmail chat
that i was in cryostasis during
it read:
‘this vice thing’

Stephen Michael McDowell is a Maryland-based artist acutely obsessed with Sonic the Hedgehog. He is the author of a novella, Treees, a novel, Male, Black, and a forthcoming piece of science-fiction titled Planet. He has a website.

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