Home > Poetry > Mars Rover Appears to Catch “Dark Beast” Roaming the Surface
Published: Sun Oct 1 2023
Eva Lin Fahey, Motherland (detail), 2021, acrylic on Grandmother’s table
Online 2023 Journeys Home Mysteries
Mars Rover Appears to Catch “Dark Beast” Roaming the Surface

& my brother opens the dryer & climbs inside, 
while our babysitter & I holler & search for an hour 

& come up short. Crystal, from a doublewide about four 
bus stops away, & I can’t find him & she’s thinking how

she isn’t getting paid enough for this shit. Check under 
the bed, in all the closets. Tell the dog to track his scent.

He’s in the hull of a metal ship, floating alone, stars
swirling, waiting to be found, waiting to win. This is 

how the game works, while Mars’s gravity is 0.377 
the strength of Earth’s & still the camera catches a shadow

hoofing it across that distant world’s dusty plains, 
its pawprints larger than my face. Know your

monster, the one caged inside, patiently waiting.
Set the control knob to protect from triggers, prevent its escape. 

Mars is just another planet with the same possibilities, 
I mean the same failures, as ours. So to find my kin

I tiptoe around, checking under the cushions for the brother 
who looks like me but isn’t of me, the one who can (& can’t) 

recall the same memories. Because I, too, want to climb back 
inside & rest in the hollow that made me. Which is to say, 

you should realize when the game is over—when they stop 
searching for you, when they stop calling your name.


Next up in the portfolio: “Moneymaker” by Sarah Audsley

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AGNI 98 Family Home Journeys
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Sarah Audsley is the author of Landlock X (Texas Review Press, 2023). A Korean American adoptee, a graduate of the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College, and a member of The Starlings Collective, Audsley lives and works in northern Vermont. (updated 10/2023)

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