The Space Cadet Science Fiction Review, Spring 2022 (issue #1)

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Pg. 68

Poetry by Matt Schumacher

After Total Recall

“Get your ass to Mars,” Schwarzenegger barks
from his itty bitty tv screen
at his Arnold alter ego, ergo
the present-day Douglas Quaid.
Every viewer envies this directive. Sparks
from rocketry and heretofore unknown life forms pervade.
No one cares if Quaid gets laid.
We’re swimmers in crimson mystery,
gone missing in the ideal red planet’s shifting dunes.
KO’d to the far moon Phobos by Phillip K.
By the time we extricate our minds from Martian reveries,
Quaid’s wife tries to murder him.
He fears his life’s a false memory implant.
I feel for Quaid, but admit I’m still entranced:
What if we earthlings could see the future in a mirror?
Like when little Arnold grins as life-sized Arnold
plucks the problem out of his head?
We might terminate our fears.
The heroic things we’d do before we’re dead!
Dazzling feats like that resuscitating end when
Quaid, the hero, restores Mars’ atmosphere.