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  You could have a big dipper   

Live from the Octavia E. Butler Landing Site by Shannon Frost Greenstein

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

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