Like fine bones of long dead fish placed just-so
on dried out cobs of corn, kernels eaten at an
outdoor dinner on a bygone Earth. I expected black
organs through a lucent shell, rushing plasma
revealing similarities between our species. I remember
a sound on the skin, a wonderful hum that told me
I was about to be taken. The skin played music in
notes mostly like the ones we have. I did not see
bright light. It happened like pond fog. My thoughts
turned banal: the leftovers in my fridge, I knew I wasn’t
about to die (is that oddball?). The abduction was hot—
but you asked about their skin. I was off to be a
curiosity. (Maybe there’d be pain). They were limbless.
I could teach them of hands. Maybe they’d learn
mercy. I promised, I wouldn’t fight back. I smelled
an ease of relenting: a flower with petals I can’t
name, having no botany in the brain tank. Believe me,
I gave up quickly. I thought I’d feel flight, but I sank
somewhere. Nothing else in my time as captive remains.
Sorry I can’t tell you more. You ask me what I do
remember. My first fear was hunger, not their skin of
dried corn…fish bones. On Earth, we could eat them
as deterrence. Now, since I everyone I knew is gone,
please tell me which year I’ve returned to.
David James Brock is a playwright, poet, and librettist whose plays and operas have been performed in cities across Canada and the UK. His first collection of poetry is Everyone is CO2 (Wolsak & Wynn). He is co-creator of Breath Cycle, an opera developed for singers with cystic fibrosis through Scottish Opera, which was recently nominated for a Royal Philharmonic Society Award.
Website: www.davidjamesbrock.com Twitter:@davidjamesbrock.
the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan