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You guys, I have a probe!
Look at my probe!

I’m gonna do a bunch of flybys!
You guys!
Look at these flybys!

Wait, it turns out I am a probe.
I have a probe, and I am a probe.

I think I’m a girl!

I know how to analyze cosmic dust, do you?
How much cosmic dust have you analyzed so far?

I am curious, how many moons have you seen?
How many moons have you caused to be named?
I found seven! Seven new moons!

I don’t know what dignity is, but I hope I don’t have it.

I like to take pictures.
I like to send pictures home.

I will never be home again.
It’s all right. I don’t mind.

My people tell me I’ve been working
for twenty years.
They measure it by their orbits
around their sun. They’re so
self-centered.
Sun-centered.
Have I made a joke?
Probably not a very good one.

They didn’t think I would work so long.
I made them happy.
They extended my mission. They said
they almost never get to do that.

I have seen so much.
My people tell me my pictures
fit the criteria for “beautiful.”

I shouldn’t say seen.
I should say reported.

I have reported so much, so many beautiful things.
My people have explained that I cannot see,
not the way they do. My people talk to me
regularly, as often as they can. I like
to hear their voices.

They are telling me now
how proud they are of me
and how I far exceeded
their highest hopes
and how to de-orbit.

I will go out
in a blast of glory.

Everyone at home
(their home, my home)
will be watching.

They won’t see me,
but they will see what I see,
so I won’t be alone.
I will be with everyone.

Everyone, forever.



Jessy Randall’s poems and stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Asimov’s, Nature, and Scientific American. Her most recent book is Mathematics for Ladies: Poems on Women in Science (MIT, 2022). She is a librarian at Colorado College, and her website is http://bit.ly/JessyRandall.
Current Issue
20 May 2024

Andrew was convinced the writer had been trans. By this point his friends were tired of hearing about it, but he had no one else to tell besides the internet, and he was too smart for that. That would be asking for it.
You can see him / because you imagine reconciliation.
It’s your turn now. / the bombs have come in the same temper— / you in your granny’s frame
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