michaela cowgill

Poem by Mars

“We have concluded the rocks here were once soaked in liquid water.”
             -Steve Squyres, principal investigator for the science instruments 
              on Opportunity and its twin rover, Spirit.

They have photographed me
and have swept my face for prints
of water, for traces of ocean  
and river. I have always been
 the fourth one, the rusted bulb in steely space.
They sweep and sweep,
looking for tiny scars of sea 
across my crooked forehead. 
From here the water on Earth is just blue.
I don’t remember knotted sea weed 
on my skull or tides dancing at midnight.         
I’m not missing something 
or half of something. I’m the root of my universe. 
But they sweep and sweep 
until they find what they have set out to find. 
A sign of something taken away. Proof 
of some distant rhythm of sea water 
on a shore I can’t recall being.

Michaela Cowgill is in her final semester at American University where she studies literature and poetry. She has previously been published in The Sow's Ear Poetry Review, AmLit and is to be published this spring in Plain China​​

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