by Kristen Comer
Her shallow eyes ached to view a world
Where the crimson dew of binary suns
Bled thinly over the horizon,
Untainted by human breath,
Unscathed by human thoughts and words.
And winds which bore the scents of life,
Alien and beautiful
Were in her nostrils even before
The journey began.
The touch and whir of cold machines
Killed the yearning for ones like her own,
While the stars' silver mouths
Called out to her, ever more passionately.
And soon she knew nothing but
A yawning sterile blackness
They call the Cosmos;
And the copper and steel of the machines
Grew into her heart,
So that every vein pulsed with
An overwhelming need to bathe herself
In the glowing, distant suns of her dreams.
But when her feet touched that alien soil
Gritty but smooth like a river-bed,
And air thick with nitrogen clouded her lungs,
She cried out against the irony
That battered her trembling senses:
The desire to roam beyond her world
Was strong, but the force of her panic now
Was yet stronger.
It burned through her heart to the marrow
Of her bones, and the gray tears she shed for home
Were in vain.
There was no turning back, no turning back.
And others, whose souls had once lusted for
The pale strangeness of other worlds,
The dark, exotic rays of other suns,
Added their own heavy tears to her weeping.
Lost and misguided, I am one of these.
Do you know me, fellow traveler,
Daughter of Earth?
Poem copyright © 1999 by Kristen Comer
Artwork "Ainalani" copyright © 1999 by Romeo Esparrago <email@example.com>