The Mars Rover Sings Happy Birthday to Itself

by Nate Maxson

A teaspoon of dark matter,

What I’m here to gather in my eventuality

All the pianos nobody ever learned to play

Are a theory the mass of a white sun

Their equations in my gears

What I can sing with, without a voice

Compressed to an ivory clatter

In a space as big as – something in my eye

I’m calculating the weight

Of a red night sky written in disappearing ink

The heft of it,

Looping and turning

Like ashfall or mad bats in the spring

A grand hibernation in the rearview mirror,

Now the red land comes awake

An Engine vanished into the air

And the blood black,

Ebony vein

The vapor trail is soon to follow


[Nate Maxson is a writer and performance artist. He lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico.]