|Apr/May 2013 Poetry Special Feature|
Artwork by Clinton McKay
Transmission from an Astronaut Dying on Mars
The thing I will miss most,
other than the company of a woman,
is the hint of rain gathering in the air.
Sure, I have stars, bracelets
glittering in an open vault,
as you do,
but no woman curls up against my chest,
and no rain trawls my roof.
Why should I succumb to despair?
A private room in Florida—
or a bunk on a red planet—
does it matter?
Wherever we live
the heart plays itself out,
like a satellite in the path of a sun's
forces out of our control dooming us.
Tonight, when you sense a subtle change
in the darkness around you,
a neighbor's porch light having gone out, perhaps,
remember me, and how our lives
my body's systems already
in the early stages of shutting down,
like lights faltering
on a neighborhood's