We descend over wandering cerulean in a sea of green
Blue blossoms waving proud pistils in our wake
As if to say, “We’ve made it here—so can you.”
A sight for tired eyes, crusted and red
From cryogenic sleep sickness
From the tears of years lost, planets lost
From the blight that circulates among us
Through breath and wind
Air handlers and life support
Suffocating us slowly, silently
We hope this planet won’t see.
We land aquatically, in a splash of jade
Await the opening of the airlock
Restrain our fingers at our sides
Don’t itch, don’t scratch, not yet.
In blows the breeze, the welcoming whispers
And the tingling fingers contort.
We step forward into the emerald waters
Reach for the helmet release
Don’t scratch now. We’re so close.
The flowers freeze, blue gone grey
They know something’s amiss.
It’s too late now
We think as the air infuses our lungs.
The petals go black
We scratch our eyes
And the itch is relieved
Free to spread anew
No longer our burden
As it consumes this new flesh.
Our time is over.
Empty vessels finally at rest.