They said it was a malfunction,
the redundancies failed,
the back-ups were not triggered.
Something white and fast,
a suggestion of great mass,
stooped from above
and impacted in heart-stopping silence.
In horror, he saw
sealed bulkheads tore,
struts and girders buckled,
walls ripped asunder, rooms opened wide.
The force of impact
flung him out and back,
and everything about him
began to gracefully – delicately – fall.
He too fell away,
floating amongst shattered debris -
so slowly, at first,
but with each second, each metre, falling faster.
The earth tightened her hold,
pulling him into her fold:
so far to go, so far to fall,
so far from life, so far from home.
His figure limned in red,
the air blueing overhead,
yellow sheets of flames enwrapped him,
a blazing embrace, a cloak of fire and smoke.
Far below, they look up and spied
a shooting star crossing the night sky.