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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, stories, and other things have appeared in Asimov'sLady Churchill's Rosebud WristletMcSweeney’s, and Star*Line. A collection of her diagram poems, How to Tell If You Are Human, is forthcoming from Pleiades Press in fall 2018. A more complete bibliography is at her website.
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