9:1: “Mundane”, by Rachel Swirsky

9:1:  “Mundane”, by Rachel Swirsky
  Pressed blind by black fathoms of space
  our ship, like a deep sea fish, creeps
  sluggish from the last known port.
  Like crippled feet, our rockets shudder—
  we yearn to rush like fluid light from star to star,
  but physical law forbids us.

Through portholes, we watch silence
ring between distant stars.
Barrens, craters,
Carbon atoms languishing
never yearning, joining, twining into chains
of lipids, sugars, proteins, nucleic acids.

There is no life but us
we lonely creatures boxed lonesome within our brains
like Carbon restive and alone.
At mess over rations, we discuss foolish
ancient dreams of mingling thoughts
forming choruses of sentient song.

but it is impossible.
The universe is isolation:
awareness evolving only once, on one planet,
with scarce ability to leave,
hemmed inside single skulls with just enough
intelligence to conceive of solitude.

Our exploration limps, inert
and monotonous. We fill empty hours
imagining mirages that sparkle bright
beneath dim stars. We approach each
to measure and retreat, disappointed
as potential vanishes to dark.


In addition to Ideomancer, Rachel Swirsky’s poetry has appeared in markets including Lone Star Stories, Goblin Fruit, and Mothering Magazine.



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