Tracy K. Smith – Life on Mars


There will be no edges, but curves.

Clean lines pointing only forward.


History, with its hard spine & dog-eared

Corners, will be replaced with nuance,


Just like the dinosaurs gave way

To mounds and mounds of ice.


Women will still be women, but

The distinction will be empty. Sex,


Having outlived every threat, will gratify

Only the mind, which is where it will exist.


For kicks, we’ll dance for ourselves

Before mirrors studded with golden bulbs.


The oldest among us will recognize that glow –

But the word sun will have been re-assigned


To a Standard Uranium-Neutralizing device

Found in households and nursing homes.


And yes, we’ll live to be much older, thanks

To popular consensus. Weightless, unhinged,


Eons from even our own moon, we’ll drift

In a haze of space, which will be, once

And for all, scrutable and safe.



Smith, Tracy K. Life on Mars: Poems. Minneapolis, MN: Graywolf, 2011. Print.

About Michael Johnson

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