A boat waits inside a cliff stone.
It’s a brood-neck of Mars motored
half-through basalt. It’s got steel
sensing the eyes of an old archeologist,
and it pretends it’s a fossil like a man.
A murrelet lays its egg in a nest there.
The embryo can hear the boat in its heart,
and the boat has already swallowed it
so the baby won’t ever hatch, won’t
stretch weird little wings against storm clouds.
The boat’s so old it watched thousands
and thousands of murrelets scrape lightning
from their minds to keep themselves flying.
And now the boat teases. It works the beard
and then the neck of the archeologist,
so that he’s head-deep in an alien’s soul
wishing for another Mars beyond Mars.
His words tighten like eroded fingers
around his lamp. There is no other world.