The long, slow, Mars-bound transit is steel corridors and dim lights, unwashed bodies and grim, silent faces. It is hope, desperation, and apathy all packed in together.
The roar of the engines tumbles memories into the now, merging dreams with reality. For those of us too poor for the inner chambers, speech is impossible, quashed by the sound and closeness.
But every part of you has a voice, speaks a moment. Your smile tells our wedding day; your shoulders, the lonely, crowded Earth.
I can’t handle your eyes.
I put the photo away, wishing you were here, alive.
This story was originally published in Specklit in 2014
Stewart C Baker is an academic librarian and author of speculative fiction and poetry, along with the occasional piece of interactive fiction. His fiction has appeared in Nature, Galaxy’s Edge, and Flash Fiction Online, among other places. You can find him online at https://infomancy.net
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