From the First Marine Astrobiology Expedition by Lauren McBride

From the First Marine Astrobiology Expedition
Lauren McBride

To My Dear Wife, I think I bathed
in the toilet – the one thing in the bathroom
that holds water. Remember they’re sentient
fish, dear. They probably “go” in the water,
and have no need to bathe – just swim often.

They’d hung a mirror, but my reflection
was distorted, like looking through
a fish-eyed lens. I know you’re laughing,
dear, but it was hard to shave.

Supper was raw seafood – like sushi
without the rice. Not sure they’ve seen
rice, or fire, or a bed – not even
a waterbed, a joke that seemed funny
to expedition members earlier
when we weren’t so tired.

I’m going to try sleeping on a towel
on the floor – some kind of compacted
crushed coral that scrapes shoeless,
scale-less skin in seconds. Don’t worry,
dear. I keep nodding off while
writing this. I should sleep fine.

Stay safe. Love you. P.S. Please
tell the next expedition to bring
mattresses and a dryer –
and hurry!

An early version of this poem first appeared in The Drabbler #16, 2010.


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