In our voyages
We found Antares,
A planet whose civilization
chose death.
Among the Karathi cities,
colonizers from a nearby star,
stood a monument, black
Holding up the sky.
Inscribed, (they left pictograms
to aid translation of their
language), it read:

“We, of Antares,
having evolved beyond
the evolutionary thrust
for survival, will make
No more great efforts
to persist. We’ll not
destroy another ecosystem
      to support our ravenous hunger,
massacre another of our factions
      to allay our fears,
oppress another underclass
      to maintain order,
nor break another generation of youth
      to preserve our traditions.
We are the only
beneficiaries of
our existence and
we will not accept
a redundant survival
at cost to
the universe.
If we live, if we die,
so be it.

So ends Antares.”

As our ship took flight
to leave that world,
I looked down and

On how many planets
did such monuments
rise among the quiet

On how many empty worlds
had people resisted the
temptation to
construct such

—D. M. Crawford