The Flying Saucer Poetry Review, Fall 2021 (issue #1)

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Pg. 43 — JUST BECAUSE ALIEN LIFE EXISTS by Kristin Van Tassel


Just because alien life exists

doesn’t mean it’s smarter than us,
searching some obsolete galaxy map with
the hard-pressed asterisk on planet Earth,
wearing thin green skin in an eggshell ship.

Searching that obsolete galaxy map with
eye-tipped tentacles, marking distance,
wearing thin green skin in an eggshell ship,
claiming our Mississippi in its alien tongue.

Marking distance and speed, time and space,
through eye-tipped tentacles, or is it
claiming our Mississippi in its alien tongue,
carving smooth alien script on mudbrown water?

Speeding through time and space, now
calculating risks and costs of galaxy travel,
carving smooth alien script across blueblack sky,
breathing earth’s oxygen as new alien air.

Calculating risks and costs of galaxy travel
doesn’t mean it’s smarter than us,
breathing our own oxygen—alien air, now
a hard-pressed asterisk on planet Earth.


Untitled | Ronan Cahill

Kristin Van Tassel

Kristin lives and teaches in rural Central Kansas. She writes essays and poetry about place, travel, and teaching. Her poetry has appeared in Burningword, Capsule Stories, Temenos, and About Place.