Far Beyond Home
Charles A. Gramlich
The eye fills with black that speaks oblivion.
The sun is a reckless thought,
or perhaps some exotic dream.
Has there ever been light,
except that which you carry with you?
Has there ever been a whole world of warmth?
Where is the source from which you spring?
You can barely remember.
What is your goal beyond survival?
Was there ever a reason
to take this journey?
And Oh, you are bored.
The same clothes,
the same nutrient gruel,
the same face in the mirror,
every molecule of air recycled.
And you will taste your own sweat again.
You wonder if this is how a moth feels
in the chrysalis.
How an embryo feels in the amniotic sac.
But there will be no metamorphosis for you.
You have no egg tooth to pip this shell.
The ship is a womb,
but there is no place outside in which to be born,
there is no midwife to pull you into the void,
to spank a cry from dry lips.
The vacuum cracks the mind
Out here beyond the galaxy’s rim,
out where even dust is rare,
where only once you’ve seen a planet,
a rogue world without its star,
without a moon to orbit it,
with a cicatrix of ruins on its surface,
gelled in time.
You wonder what its natives were like.
You imagine them happy,
though they are given to nothingness now
And you imagine,
that there was another entombed
in the zero cold night
of this empty quarter.
The one who sent you here
instead of there,
who condemned you to this limbo.
You don’t know his name.
You only know that his calculations
were a decimal off.