by F. J. Bergmann

After “All About Death” by W.D. Ehrhart

You don’t want me to talk about UFOs,
but I’m going to tell you anyway. First,
you have to know that I’ve seen them,
or at least their traces—pale contrails
streaming across sleepless nights, lit
with an unearthly radiance, and entities
emerging from metal disks. Second,
I’ve felt their heaviness on my chest
in the dark, pinning me firmly, terror-
stricken, to the mattress as a warm rush
of blood muttered urgently in my ears.
Grey as smoke, they spoke in all four
of the languages I knew, with less-than-
perfect accents and limited vocabularies,
wanted me to relay messages—important
ones, if I remember correctly. Third,
this terra firma is not an only world: stars
beyond number are orbited by planets
whose existence has been confirmed,
in their turn spied upon by alien eyes,
antennae, incomprehensible organs
of perception. Fourth, even the data
they harvest is beyond understanding:
I felt them count the bones of my spine,
the whorls on my left thumb, the hairs
on the back of my neck, then perform
calculations upon whose results depend
the survival of our race. I believe “race”
is what they said; perhaps the word was
“essence of being” or maybe even “souls.”
I got the impression they hadn’t quite
mastered whichever language it was
they were speaking. “Survival” could
have been “always,” or even “eternity.”

Copyright © 2017 by F. J. Bergmann

Poet_FJ_Bergmann75x105Featured Poet of the Month F. J. Bergmann
F.J. Bergmann edits poetry for Star*Line, the journal of the Science Fiction Poetry Association (sfpoetry.com) and Mobius: The Journal of Social Change (mobiusmagazine.com), and imagines tragedies on or near exoplanets. Recent work appears in Eye to the Telescope, The Future Fire, Futures Trading, Pulp Literature, and Twisted Moon. A Catalogue of the Further Suns, winner of the Gold Line Press chapbook contest, will appear in 2017. 

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