ISSN 1545-2859




               ARLENE ANG

Under Phobos and Deimos

Soil gleams russet, then black
as the shovel penetrates deeper,
like the auburn-haired women
I decapitated with a spade.

No dust storm ever halts labor.
An electronic voice drones orders:
ten paces to your left, dig.
I obey as I have always done.

There are hundreds of us,
each one alien to penitence.
Insulated by orange suits,
we blend well with Marscape.

Once a guard in white sneered
community service is clemency;
construction, punishment enough
for hands veined with fusible alloy.

We have no illusions. This site
is to be another research center.
I was born from a test tube myself,
the H69th clonation of J.D. Smith.

We are all gene-enhanced as soldiers;
just prisoners now, we enjoy breaking
polycarbonate helmets. The slow death
of others constitutes our life.

Copyright © 2004 Arlene Ang. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.