Jennifer L. Freed
Behind your closed eyes, you guide your star-
ship past Orion. You whisper
about grain supplies, warp speeds, light
years. Back on Earth, your wife and I
keep watch beside your rasping
body. The metastases have travelled
Even in your semi-dream, you hear me
ask you where you’re going. Your body
has grown gray and slight. Your lungs have both
collapsed. Base camp, you whisper.
Waiting for me…seeds.
So, as everywhere you’ve ever gone,
you carry bud and bloom and green.
I imagine biodomes, their moonstone sheen
rounding plains of dry space rock, iridescent
as our mother’s moonstone ring.
For a moment, you and I are small,
dinner simmers on the stove, and we are
watching Star Trek on TV, enraptured
by the lives beyond our galaxy.
You will never eat again. The nurses
give your body what it needs to be at ease.
You lie still, serene. Mostly gliding now. Then
your eyes abruptly open, and you beam
at us. Hello! How did you get here?
You take in the tubes, machines, electronic beeps.
Your wife thinks fast, strokes your cheeks, tells you
to mind the control panels, tells you they need you
in the colony.
Again you close your eyes. All day
you drift. That night, you lift your index finger, gaze, amazed
that it is glowing blue. You say it is your portal.
There are two, you whisper. One
is where the word is always ‘No’. The other—
and your finger faintly moves, draws a tiny circle in the air—
This one is where everything