In the Space of a Breath

Thu, 07/31/2014 - 22:34 -- cwagner

Location

 

In 2023, a ship called Mars One

will depart from the surface of the earth

and never return.

 

It will fly forty million miles to a place

where human kind has never set its heavy foot.

Four people will be chosen to colonize a planet

whose ground is forever frozen and

whose two moons circle high above.

Four people will be the ones to write a history

for a new civilization.

 

If you could dictate the laws

the culture

the code

of an entire society —

what would that world look like?

 

Decide quickly; you are one of the chosen four.

Careful, now, take care:

three, two, one, warning

this environment is volatile and any step,

any wrong move,

will set in motion a thing that began as

pure hope, pure potential

and it is dangerous.

 

And then quite suddenly,

in the space of a breath,

you remember how on earth, you tended to wonder

why people were so often looking up,

drawn to the sky.

 

The instant you step onto the rocky ground

of a whole new planet,

you remember.

Three, two, one, you feel its warning in your bones;

it reached you before you knew how to hear it,

and burned you before you could flinch away.

 

You wear your scorch marks like

wedding rings; they are promises.

Remember this.

Remember how back on earth,

people were always looking up,

drawn to the sky,

but you could only bear to look down.

 

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