Postcards from Mars

Earth you are a fading teardrop
between moon and moon,
the petrified skies I stare at like an idiot,
in dreams of grey rain
whispering around inside helmets,
like quicksand, cleavage, cruel pages,

Earth in a dewdrop, a snowflake, a cricket's eye.
Smell of dark grasses; tangerine.
Something passes through the dawn, shadowlike,
from crack to crack, under days of quartz.

Old autumn shores:
redheads in the sky. O moon and moon,
the light that rattles. What is evening, here?
Delirium of palms, linen, orange moss,
long echo of alabasterness.

Mile and miles out today:
red salt flats, black hermit pillars.
Sounds like wind through pines.
Nothing but ghosts, mica bones, mirage
of porcelain cities.

Haunting observations. The not-birds, the Earth
inside us, bitter coffee,
insect scuttle, the brushing away
of webs, hair, snowbreath,
none of it there.

Relics of lost poets.
Archives of echo, fragments of voice.
Silver lips pressed against helmets.
Poems made of sand, crystal, pubic flesh.
Infinite Mars of her mouth.

Entities hush by, sparkling wet silk.
Images of steam vents, old brick, rooftop watertowers.
Crackles of language. Caressable phrases.
A necklace of ships toward Jupiter.
We watch, frozen, clutching our vials.

Landscape of tanager, oriole, gold cicada.
Look at that city—
the Immortalists died there, ranting and drooling.
Odd sensations. Taste of salt and lemon.
Quiver of buttocks under my tongue.
Cybersirens in digital seas. Red prose,
gazelles of thought, a box of alphabets.

Smell of iron in rain but there is no RAIN.
Flash-winds, flash-memories of whiskey
and ancient orchards: smell of rotting apples
and rust under these lead-pipe skies. Bunkers
of concrete, spaceship detritus. Open lines
on RadioMars.

Remains of movements in the dark, pieces
of afterimage, mirror-deliria, apparition of rivers.
Music, like if cats were glass.
The burlap curtain between dread and panic.
Patience; accidents; unknown footprints.
Our spines split double for each moon,
cold metal in our throats.

Insane robots: cliche of: reality of.
AI myth and lore. Running headfirst into walls
of cinnabar. Virulence of isolation.
Robot/flesh. Othernesses, mysterians, oids.
Braided wires hanging from sounds of powdered rust.
Robot/apocalypse. Clones teleporting
through solid space.
Cliff dwellings full of headcasings.

Sciencefiction. Freight trains.
The titanium scribe bent to its task:
glass quill, spirit lamp, radiation suits,
jetpaks, world of pure breath.
Across these endless sands.
Hangovers in orbit, hangovers on Mars.
Grind insects, hipbones, into inkpowder.
Humanfiction. Sex with ghosts and language.

Distant ululations just at about late afternoon.
Undulations under the sand, red waves
across the paper, peripherals of shadow.
Out into the Arena of Dissolve.
Underground chambers, geode eyes,
something porous in grey holes.

Drama in the Black Dome:
her hair stood 2 feet straight up.
Raving about squirrel skins, Youngstown,
parallel universes. I watched her, drinking
something gold; watched her and thought of her
in panties and hoodie.

Mirages of smokestacks,
medieval angels, snow and weeds. Bridges
thrumming under clack of heels. O rain
on streets, leafless trees, metal awnings.

Dark circles opening beneath us: into
ether pools, vistas of violet photons,
photographs of exploding shuttle euphoria. Who
laments, out there in the dusk?

Cinnamon fills the mouth.
Honeycomb minds blur together.
The sky tunes us far from you, O Earth,
on trips to suns and suns beyond our lifespans.
We are the legend of the red planet.

Discovery: narcotic lichen.
In fields of lark and phoenix. Artefact wreckage.
Catchphrases of prophecy. We chew and sit.
Blue curtains fall into pools of blue sand.
Giant sundew along the marble docks.
Tall dancers like canna flowers swaying.
Snow hissing into braziers where we warm our memories.

Tomorrow will be tomorrow.

Flotsam of empty spacesuits.

These orange beaches.

—G. Sutton Breiding