From 1986 to 2007, Russian cosmonauts were issued a TP-82 (and later, a semi-automatic pistol) as a survival gun to be used against predators after landing but before recovery in the Siberian wilderness.
 

I ejected from the womb and State
with toy rockets in my fists


and did what needed
to be done.


And years later,
Mother issued a gun


in case I had to
wait


for rescue
after falling home a hero,


but not home,
tucked in the Tundra


with nothing but a helmet
and where stories


of vistas and views
would not persuade


the bear, if only he knew,
to let me live—


would not dissuade
the wolf


from doing what it
wanted from birth,


before, and beyond,
to do.

 

TP-82

by Aaron Sandberg

 

Aaron Sandberg

Aaron Sandberg has never shot a gun in his life. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in West Trade Review, Asimov’s, The Offing, Sporklet, Lowestoft Chronicle, Abridged, Giallo, Right Hand Pointing, Monday Night, and elsewhere. A Pushcart-nominated teacher, you might find him—though socially-distant—on Instagram @aarondsandberg

Payment can be given at paypal.me/aarondsandberg

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