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A Martian Sends an Email Home

​​​​after Craig Raine


>> Shiva is the conversion system used for producing
oxygen from the planet’s rich carbon dioxide atmosphere. <<

>> Sands storm when ghosts wheels of civilizations past
roll on soft ground in frustration, leaving no trails, but
wanting to be noticed. Wailing in the wind anyway. <<

>> She was here before us.
We burn scarlet incense on the ridges. <<

>> The F-6 tornado is when there is no such thing as windows
here in the pods for fear of pressure failure. No chances are taken.
All is witnessed through electric screens and a shatter-proofing. <<

>> She halts the great walls of sand that would take us.
The twisters that would dance on our heads for our deaths. <<

>> Rovers pressurize to save our lives, let us slide
into new skins from inside, live inner-worldly,
seeking to strike rocks with our third and fourth arms,
second sculls, twice legged. <<

>> Scrawling new Sumerian scratches
over the dunes for satellites to wonder on
after we’ve held breaths and turned a truer red. <<