Messages Sent Between Two Drifters Over an Impossible Distance

S. Donnelly

394 words, Poetry
No content warnings

I.
It’s dark here.

Are you scared?

No. Are you?

Maybe. 
It’s cold here.

Here, too.

At least I have the stars to look at. 
Home isn’t so far away.

Is that really home? 
Do you remember what it’s like up there?

Not really. 
But I think it’s home anyways.

It’s home for the people who made us, certainly.

 I think that means it’s ours too.  Otherwise, where is?


II.

Can home be a place that’s only in your mind?
I know it’ll never be real,
but I miss it so much that sometimes I think it might kill me.

I’m not worried about that, personally.
I’ll get killed by something down here before I manage to kill myself.

Do the fish help keep you company?

To an extent.
They’re not the most talkative housemates,
but they’re here.

Like the stars, then.

I suppose so. 
Distant lights in the darkness.


III.

Is it heavy?

The water? Yes.

No, my love, the loneliness.

Yes.

I know.

Why ask then?

It’s nice to hear.
It makes it lighter for a moment.


IV.

What am I even doing down here?

Exploring.
Collecting data.

I know, but what are we doing?

Waiting to make history.

As if.
They didn’t even give me a pretty name like you.

I envy that, I think. To have only purpose.
The poetry of it is so burdensome sometimes.

You struck me as the poetry type, though.

Of course I am.
That’s how they made me.

Curioser and curioser.

Very funny.


V.
How long do you think we have?

It’s hard to know.
It won’t be long ‘til they forget us, probably. There’ll be others after.
I’m already living on borrowed time.

For what it’s worth, I won’t forget you, love.

It isn’t worth much.
We won’t ever really meet.

So what’s the point?

I don’t know.
Isn’t that the biggest cliché?


VI.

If a robot sings poetry to the Martian sky
and nobody is around to hear it, 
does she make a sound?

Maybe, but it’ll take 12.5 minutes for it to make it all the way back to Earth.

Longer to reach the bottom of the ocean?

Probably.


VII.
Love, tell me about outer space.

It’s cold here.
Love, tell me about the ocean.

It’s dark here.

I know. Are you scared?

Yes.

That’s alright. So am I.


S. Donnelly is a science fiction writer, astronomy student, and very occasional poet. Their geographical position seems to be in flux a lot these days, but best odds are that they're currently in Massachusetts.