Poem: Observations from the Black Ball Line Between Deimos and Callistos

A poem of mine that I’m really fond of recently appeared in the anthology The Martian Wave 2015, now available in limited hard copies and multiple e-book formats. You’ll have to buy the anthology to read it the whole thing, but here’s how it opens:

Observations from the Black Ball Line Between Deimos and Callistos

By Alexandra Erin

There are no seasons in space,
they say, but they’ve never been.
Earth-bound poets project their own lack
of imagination onto the black,
say it has no romance, no rhythm.

The food is good,
the old joke says,
but it’s got no atmosphere.

They were telling that one on Earth
before the first foot fell on the first moon,
and they’re still telling it to this day.
Only the venue has changed.

They’re wrong on every count, including the food.
The food is usually indifferent, often terrible,
nothing special at its decadent best.
It’s not always freeze-dried,
not always vacuum-locked,
not always so loaded with stabilizers
it has more aftertaste than taste,
but it’s never fresh, neither.

You don’t go to space for the food.

You go for the atmosphere.

…and that’s how it starts. It’s a meditation on the difference between earth-bound expectation and space-found reality. As I said, I’m very fond of how it turned out. Get it here, along with other poems and stories on the theme of interplanetary exploration and expansion within our own star system.