Message From a Distant Planet by John Grey - Twist in Time Literary Magazine
We apologize for our shipand the poor souls who occupy it.It’s piloted from afar.Distant computers have guided it through meteorite armiesand the clouds of cosmic dust,but the engines cannot burn their fuel forever.We had to land it somewhere.I’m sorry it had to be your planet. I feel pity at your welcoming.Your red carpet would be more appropriateif out had broken out in boils.For these faces, these bodies, you see,may look alien to youbut they are alien to us as well.The word, I believe, in your language,is “plague.”In ours, it’s “get them all the hell out of here with no way to return.” Maybe you’ll be immune to their disease.Most likely you will not be.Before your sun sets in the west,so many of you will be rupturing, being eaten away,spitting what you call blood. I’ve always believed that contact between such different speciespresents the opportunity for learning,for appreciation,of each other’s cultures and achievements.Sadly, we do not come in peace, we come in death.Let’s shake hands anyway.If we’re all going to die,why not of friendship? ____________________________________________________________ John Grey is an Australian poet, US resident. Recently published in the Homestead Review, Harpur Palate and Columbia Review with work upcoming in the Roanoke Review, the Hawaii Review and North Dakota Quarterly.