Jun 8, 2010

Transmission from the Rogue Astronaut

Written by George David Clark

Read by Rebecca Howell

That the switchbacked trail of tracks I’ve followed –
through the pocked and fractured canyons
which make of this planet a naked maze of desert

and resembled, from orbit, the abstract whorls
of thumbprints, shifting – have led, at last,
to nothing yet; that one will seem sometimes

practically a bear’s track (clawed, heavy,
if not exactly massive) and elsewhere muted,
maybe clothed, as in a practiced shoe;

that, too, they’re always intervaled at random
and immaculate, as though laid down in a vacuum,
static – strange since any easy impact scored

across the rubble here is backfilled in a minute:
these facts force me to concede that it must be
an angel or a compact god I faintly saw,

but saw for certain, crest the distant ridge
and then withdraw beyond it. On that day
I left my station. Black sand swirling at dawn,

at dusk, and every mile another spiraled rock stack
branching like a giant cactus (eroded accident
or sacral, tool-carved artifact?): this place,

selectively amnesiac, subtracts me even now
past an empty water pack, the accelerating sun,
past my prayer and the wracked horizon.