Size / / /

There isn't really death on Mars, more
of a cessation, a reduction to absolute
zero. The recombination of your elements
into new patterns that sustain these
bubbling parasite domes that scratch the face
of the red cold planet in fungal clusters.

There isn't really life on Mars, rather
existence, continuance along infinite lines
on the island suspended in black cold.
Outside the red dust moves as a sleeper
disturbed by uncomfortable dreams or trying
forever to reach an unscratchable itch.

There isn't really time on Mars, only
the ticking of sand in clocks that dribble
dust on sundials. You can see the time
pass second on second in peoples eyes
as imperceptibly they shrink and their light dies.
The shadows draw over in terrible lines.

There is nothing on Mars to be or
do. No rotund aliens in dust brick houses.
No monoliths inscribed with ancient rites
No relief from the unbearable thin light.
Nothing to explore. Nothing to conquer.
Nothing but waiting and watching the dust fall.

 

Copyright © 2001 David Salisbury

Reader Comments


David Salisbury was born in Dunedin New Zealand 4th April 1979. He moved about during childhood due to his parents' work, and lived in Israel before moving to Britain when he was 16. He has just completed a degree in Mathematics at Southampton University.



Bio to come.
Current Issue
16 Sep 2019

A child falls. A raven feeds. A valravn flies away.
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Marie Brennan's “This Is How.”
abandoned but whole, and full, and drenched with the perfumes of summer nights and rose-hush
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Hester J. Rook's “Stepping the Path Trod by the Moon,” as read by the poet themselves.
I have always loved admiring classical paintings. Namely, Rembrandt and Klimt.
Issue 9 Sep 2019
By: Shiv Ramdas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Sarah Shirley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Aug 2019
Brazil Special Issue call for fiction submissions!
Issue 26 Aug 2019
By: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Aug 2019
By: S. R. Mandel
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 12 Aug 2019
By: Niyah Morris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: Em Allen
By: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Rasha Abdulhadi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Aug 2019
By: Aisha Phoenix
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Alexandra Seidel
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Jul 2019
We're all so very excited to put your funds and good faith to use, providing a platform for voices⁠ new and international, creative and resisting.
Issue 29 Jul 2019
22 Jul 2019
As of July 21st, we are FULLY FUNDED with all of the fund drive content unlocked.
Issue 22 Jul 2019
By: Sionnain Buckley
Podcast read by: Sionnain Buckley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: