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
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.