Please Get On the Ship
by Angel Leal
If we don’t press our faces
through this towering cold door
they’ll leave orbit without us,
without our tongue, without
even the history of our skin.
The metallic mirror of the ship
is designed to draw in our eyes,
tempts you to see you
before stepping aboard.
“Are you clean?” They’ll ask,
“Are you educated? Before we fly,
start a new world, repopulate
a healthy planet, do you understand?
A motherland who’s never harmed
her body with chemical moments of
desperation. Whose flesh is unpolluted.
Will you walk on her, will your kind
walk on her? Your people on Earth
have high percentages of incarceration,
teenage pregnancy, high school
dropouts. Do you want to lower
our figures on Mars? Consider
the potential,” they’ll say, “of
a pure second chance.
We are not so much biased
as optimistic. We can do better.
This time our children will roam
in the valleys and dunes,
the caverns of red innocence.
Please, before you step aboard
can you promise no violence
following your kind like shadows?”
They’ll ask us this. Your people too
will need to validate their right
to continue breathing, to continue
the struggle and dream of breathing.
Please, get on the ship, my people.
Let them see our children play
with theirs. Red sands will blow
in their hair and nothing will be
closer to proof of our strengths
Angel Leal is a Mexican, trans/non-binary poet from Texas. Their work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize, the Rhysling Award, and has previously appeared in venues such as Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, Anathema: Spec from the Margins, and the Club Q Benefit Anthology “We Apologize For The Inconvenience” published by Beyond The Veil Press. You can find them at angel-leal.com or floating around Twitter @orbiting_angel.