Poetry by Alison Jennings
Fallen to Earth
Crash-landing on earth in desperate search of water for your
arid planet, you must shelter among the locals, yet in their
Church of Gratitude, you worship a different deity, whose
crucifix is coated with crushed daffodils and peonies, held
together by spit from bodies of civets, and the lilies exude
an awful aroma, which bees detest, but still must pollinate.
Inside the bathroom, a medicine cabinet conceals your secret,
a solution for contact lenses that protect extraterrestrial eyes.
Within the toilet bowl is stored money for emergencies.
Glee or sorrow is not describable by you; you do not even own
a dictionary, or know where to find one. A postcard from your
ruling goddess tells you to quit risking discovery, but you persist.
The clouds are monitoring this dilemma, while in the garden,
you apply unguents from the cabinet for your face and hands,
tender from exposure to Earth’s oxygen-saturated atmosphere.
Creatures hover in the persimmon trees, where their fragrance
is overpowering. The goddess manifests, so you bow down.
But the bright green Luna moths want to explore your origins
and true nature, not listening to the wind, or the running water
in the bathtub, where you’ve planted answers to any questions.