The Death of Ardu

I’m wary of
those desert winds,
the temperatures that drop
as sudden as a last breath,
and I am sad that Ardu was stranded,
because it could have been any one of us
and Earth doesn’t need another widow.

Ardu’s the subject of discussion
in the common room of our dome.
Why didn’t the shuttle pick him up at the allotted time?
Why did no one hear his distress signals?

I leave the failures of the system
to those chattering voices.
A man’s blood frozen
in the vein,
head tumbling,
chest crumpling,
suit cracking open like ostrich shell,
is too much information.

Come bedtime,
I’m far from any lingering babble.
My wife holo-calls.
Her face appears in a glittery mist.
Soft words pierce light years.
She loves me at the allotted time.
My distress signals are answered
before I even make them.


John Grey
John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in That, Midwest Quarterly, Poetry East and North Dakota Quarterly with work upcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Hawaii Review and the Dunes Review.