There is not a single day I don’t think about Mars. About the burnished fringe of its orbit rotating, impassive, under thousands metallic tons of ships descending upon its axis, as its surface spreads out like a golden carpet, and the curve of its horizon expands, opening, to a world lacerated by fire storms, fractured by telluric scars and volcanic crusts. And below, a burning ground fading away among endless plains, mountains and pits more fearsome than the first night of the universe.
“How do we feel today? Someone has a good look here…”
“She has the same look, as usual.”
“So mean. They don’t have always the same mood, you know?”
“How do you know? They don’t even move an eyebrow. We put them in bed, sit them down, and they remain there, still, looking at nothing.”
“Sometimes they look a bit sadder and sometimes happier. You can see it slightly in their eyes. Look, now her eyes are a kind of brighter, like if she remembered something nice.”
Not many have understood that shivering beauty made of bellows and ashes, of desolation and Dantesque terrors. To most people, it’s just another rock floating into space on which they need to run aground, the next Scylla and Charybdis that must be defeated, a hell where many have been sent to tame it or to die trying. In the fervor of conquest, the weariness of years going across the dark void in countless round trips, the homesickness for the place left behind, and the uncertainty of a possible return, who had time to pierce the veil of that giant misshapen by its portentous figure and the legends of its merciless ferocity, so they could give in to the fascination of its prodigious shapes, to the magnificent splendor of its blazing power, to the gelid diamond of its nights?
“Now, help me to get her out of this… That’s it. Carefully.”
“I don’t know. Not matter how you talk to them, not a single reaction. I check out their chests many times because it seems they even forget to breathe…”
“Don’t think so. They whisper things, sometimes.”
“You’re crazy. They hardly open their mouths and they can speak now.”
“Seriously. Once I think she said something like barge…”
“Barge? Nah, you’re just imagining things. I bet that the closest to a barge these people have been is from a spaceship.”
Mars. How I wish to plunge myself into the sidereal darkness, dive into the phosphorescent cavity of its abysms, and fenced by the tight net of countless and unreachable spark plugs, to strand once more on your reddish shores, where the breath of ancient oceans were arrested beneath arid and incandescent seams, eons ago. To move along your glinted plains, among boulders of fire and lava, feeling the throb of your veins flowing through the metal and the insulating, fibrous weave, until my body, and going beyond the thin layer of the protecting glass, to gaze upon you in glory and majesty, as the first time.
“It seems we’re a kind of sad today, right?”
“There you go again. She’s just a bit paler. Must be we didn’t take her out to the sun these days. Today we will for sure.”
“How about that? Happier now?”
“Anyway, if they even could feel something, it would be sadness. Sacrifice time and family exploring the space to end here, sick, alone and thrown away. Sad, to say the least.”
“Yeah. Pity. Though must be nice travelling through the space, seeing different planets; imagine that.”
“And that your brain gets roasted by landing on Mars so many times, ending nearly like a vegetable, yeah, very nice.”
“Are we ready to go out? Very good, let’s go. I hope she’ll cheer up after this to eat a bit more.”
In the impenetrable blindness of this persistent night, I can still see you. You rise up as a wisp among unnumbered stars, calling me. The stormy roar of your sands scratching the wrinkled skin of your bosom is a distant chant of siren. It enfolds me, it pushes me into the sidereal vacuum; the route of the stars opens out and I sail toward you, at last. The colossal eye of your orb gets closer, Cyclops of cosmos, and I enter into the fire ring of your silver ellipse to let me go, naked, without linings nor ornaments, sinking in your vastness. As a igneous ember I break apart, I melt into you forever. I back to Mars.
“Did you take all her stuff away?”
“Yes. We called so they come for all that, but nobody’s come.”
“They not even come for them, you know how it is. We’ll make her a nice ceremony and we’ll cremate everything, like always. Come on now, don’t be sad.”
“It just I can’t get used to it, no matter how long I’ve been here, I can’t get used to it. It’s so sad.”
“What else can we do? Better we finish to tidy up for the new tenant.”
“Yep. Out with the old… What’s that?”
“An old picture; she carried it among her clothes. Can you guess?