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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