Astropoetica: Mapping the Stars through Poetry

Self/Portrait

Curiosity Rover's Self Portrait at 'John Klein' Drilling Site

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

I parse myself pixel by pixel,
raster recognition registering
ones and zeros, bit, byte, baud,
checksummed and sent Solward.
I am incurious about my countenance.
I prefer landscapes to portraits,
silt, sand, shades of red
rock to a right-angled robot head,
cyclops, pirate, single lens.
You think:  little, lonely.
You anthropomorphize me, android
who drives the worlds you ache to walk.
Maker of missions, what makes you
make up stories when the dust
divulges truths up to the spectrograph?

Previous | Table of Contents | Next

Mary Alexandra Agner writes of dead women, telescopes, and secrets in poetry, prose, and Ada. Her latest book of poetry is The Scientific Method (Parallel Press 2011); her latest short fiction is "Chilaquiles Con Code" in the Journal of Unlikely Cryptography. She makes her home halfway up Spring Hill; she can be found online at http://www.pantoum.org.