Earth has been dead for a century, and all humans with it. Or so we believe. All that is left of the final expedition is our colony of souls on Mars. Only mouths are we.
Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the centre of all things? That is the question we ask ourselves when we intercept a random radio message from the distant remains of Earth, a naked rock spinning in space, reflecting the sun like its twin, the moon. The language is familiar. The song is too: ‘It’s a God-awful small affair to the girl with the mousy hair…’ The voice is melodic but wavering across the expanse of space, a shock to the system when we hear the refrain: ‘Is there life on Mars?’
We transmit a reply, repeating it continuously. But they are the last words we hear.
Kim M. Russell, 10th May 2021
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Prosery: Here’s the thing about existing
Sanaa is this week’s host for Prosery, when we write very short prose that tells a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end, in any genre of our choice, with a limit of 144 words. The special thing about Prosery is that we are given a complete line from a poem, which must be included somewhere in our stories; we may change punctuation but are not allowed to insert words in between parts of the quotation.
Like Sanaa, I have long been in love with the works of Rainer Maria Rilke. The line we are using in our prose is from a translation of his poem ‘Heartbeat’:
“Only mouths are we. Who sings the distant heart which safely exists in the centre of all things?”