The first time
I heard the wind on Mars
I felt so lonesome I could not continue to listen.
An exhalation from cosmic lungs
birthed by the Big Bang at the beginning of it all
and only Perseverance to bear silent witness
live from the Octavia E. Butler Landing Site
If an alien breeze blows
and there’s no one around to hear it
did it make a sound at all?
abandoned on the Red Planet
reminds me of me in middle school
stoic and forlorn
a meaningless speck in the infinite.
alone amidst the dust storms and the prehistoric microbes
who might carry the code
to solve the puzzle of human immortality.
the pinnacle of human thought to date
seven minutes of terror and suddenly
something never before perceived graces the human ear.
Can a rover feel homesick?
I have anthropomorphized it now
lost in its sea of solitude
deserving of empathy and longing for praise.
Does it pine for the scientists
present since infancy
on whom it has imprinted?
Martian wind pours from my computer speakers and
I fight the urge to cry.
When a computer has outlived its usefulness
what do we owe it for its many contributions
to our salvation?
Shannon Frost Greenstein (She/Her) is the author of “Pray for Us Sinners”, a fiction collection from Alien Buddha Press, and “More.”, a collection of poetry by Wild Pressed Books. She is a Pushcart Prize nominee and a former Ph.D. candidate in Continental Philosophy. Follow her on Twitter at @ShannonFrostGre or shannonfrostgreenstein.com.