what to wear when…an abbess-astronaut. her rosary rattles as the rocket roars and soars skywards. she feels it when the barrier breaks. she feels the warmth of the engine and the gaping cold of space and the sting of the crucifix cutting into her fist from clutching it too tightly. she unclasps her straps and gingerly lifts her limbs. the air receives her eagerly, a reward for her trust. she floats, weightless as an angel, her burden borne by the air around her. her habit and hair billow of their own accord. there are instructive buttons that glow like burning bushes, communion wafers packed beside thermostabilized protein packets, pages sprawling from a buoyant bible’s spine. the stars streak past at 18,000 miles per hour. she sees sixteen sunrises a day. the horizon blooms in the blink of an eye into brightness. navigational constellations are gone to her from this perspective. she can blot out the world with an ash-blackened thumb; this unsettles her, exhilarates her, fills her with the terrible clarity of those suddenly above all others. this ship is alive, she decides, one of god’s creatures, just like her. it has a pulse. it gleams and heats and hums. together, they thrust themselves towards the bastion of the almighty. she never fully felt the heavy endlessness of “eternity” before. space is the grandest church she’s ever seen. like tempting devils, black holes wrest whole planets from their paths. stained-glass nebulas inspire her to cry. city lights outline entire continents, flickering like sacramental candles. galaxies swirl. asteroids drift languidly. mothers hush their children during sermons but there is always a rustling candy wrapper or cough. not here. not here, no, not in this infinite, unknowable temple. it is noiseless, overwhelmingly so. she has never known truer holiness than this. i’m coming, she promises. i’m coming, she prays. i’m coming, she threatens. the predicted rapture didn’t happen. god didn’t come to get her. they woke up the next morning, whether wicked or worthy. he didn’t come to her so she must come to him. she will come to him to correct her one god’s error. she will come to him to have him answer for his silence. she will come to him to serve him, make him infallible once more, restore him to the god he once was and ought to be again. a technological ascension into heaven will occur - the very first! there is so little that can be new anymore. she will be the first “first” in centuries. soon, her flock will follow her across the cosmos. science, faith, and fate culminated and she is the chosen one. chosen by god or by herself, it’s really all the same. this rocket launch, this rebellion of hers, has been scheduled since eve’s teeth first pierced the fruit. make no mistake: her transgression is an act of utmost devotion, a worshipful mutiny. she will usher in god’s plan just as every saint and sinner has before her. she will be evil, she will be damned, she will do what he needs her to do. she will rip the universe apart and declare war on him and even suffer hell if it will help reify his vision. she will cross into his kingdom on her own terms, in an aluminum ark carrying only the animal called woman.