Opportunity will no longer knock.
Opportunity will no longer
Respond to our knocks.
Nobody home. Go away please.
For 15 years, without a whimper,
She spoke when spoken to
And went where she was told,
Sat up straight and minded her business.
Dusted, frozen, gimpy,
Still she plodded along
The Martian ridges,
Our spy in the sky
One final dust storm,
And she’s had enough.
Want to see what’s
Beyond the next hill?
Come on up here your damn self.
There was a June when it rained
As it rained every June
Anyone could remember
All day, every day, every night
A rain so fine you could breathe it
So swollen you could drown
In the tall grass never knowing
Why, eyes wide and mouth agape
That June as wet inside as out
The earth heaved upward
As the rain kept falling
The sky without warning red as blood
I remember now, a voice was calling
“Come back through the long grass,
Come back through the red, red rain.”
But the red rain was you.
The sun is a joke
These January mornings
Oh, Earth, these blemishes
Can be scrubbed dead clean,
This unseemly infection stopped,
But to no avail, all the evidence
Points to the scabs bursting open,
Life pouring out again and again
In all its musty bigness,
The anti-entropic urge
Of the womb is doomed
To eternal resurgence
It’s not rebellion – nothing so seemly,
So ordained by high principle –
Just a thing impossible to stop,
A thing in a crack,
A seam in an ocean of atoms,
An imperceptible pause
In the continuous instant,
A suddenness within chaos,
How ice forms from steam
How fire struts across the built and unbuilt alike
How two disparate things join
Into a whole, unbegotten, unbidden.
Down at the deepest level, they say,
Things pop in and pop out
On less than a whim.
I sit at a table riddled with worm holes,
As manufactured as the chained and slashed
Surface on which I write, burn marks
Sealed in polyurethane gloss, all for
A borrowed twilight, an impermanence
Enshrined for eternity, or as near it
As artifice can come, fuzz-box guitar
Scratching through the conditioned air.
Outside, the latest mercury vapor lamps
Dressed up gassy, the rhythmic flicker
Punctuating the entrance, everywhere
Authenticity for sale, at a premium.
I examine my coffee, dubiously.