What Wants Us

Hello. We’ve landed safely.
All’s well under the foreign sky.
This new sun is gently pulsing
over landscapes chiseled in salt.
They’ve been made in the image and likeness
of the home I never knew.
Gobi, Mojave, Arizona.
Names as alien as any moon.

But this land can’t be barren, I tell myself.
It pushed out a city for us.
I’ve been trailing its bone-white splendor.
Taking in the hard-won wonders.

Here, water has an unfamiliar taste,
and we can’t walk the sky,
but what does it matter? They say
it’s how it has been. Spires
piercing the stars in our name.

Are you still listening?
I’d hate my first message to be all complaints.
But, moving forth with new winds, I don’t know.
Is this really where we came from,
the dirt swirling by my feet?
It reminds me of places we wouldn’t let be.

I’m waiting for the next ship and hoping
I’ll leave before I forget: that home is
not what we want.
It’s what wants us
before poison and fire.

—Karolina Fedyk