Regarding the Memory of Earth
by Angela Acosta
Composed by a homo sapien sapien
1 AU from Sol in 2021 CE
In time, Rome will fall again.
New technologies will go beyond
our wildest dreams and nightmares.
English will require translation, and
tectonic plates will melt over our plastic mess
until: Pangea Proxima, mass extinction events,
Sol consuming terra, marching towards
the heat death of the universe.
Are there any voyagers left from spaceship Earth?
Will any wanderers read our inscriptions from the Milky Way?
When will our biological creations fail us? You,
in whatever time, space, or incarnated shape you exist,
will you remember our heroes and villains?
Answer me this:
Do you still close your eyes and recite the lord’s prayer
before going into hyper sleep at near light-speed?
Have you left literal milestones of our triumphs?
Can you hear the music of the heavenly spheres?
What will you call star systems no man has ever seen?
Or a sky so foreign even Polaris can’t guide you?
Will you fear the impending blackness
as galaxies drift apart in an ever-expanding universe?
What will “Terra,” “Luna,” and “Sol” mean
to you twenty light-years away?
Have you taken poetry, art, the Popul Vuh
and the King James Bible?
Do you have an ansible or telepathy?
Has technology finally overtaken magic?
Are you happy?
Do you know of love and loss so great it knows no bounds?
Do you still dream in zero gravity?
Do you fear the space outside the airlock?
Science fiction has satisfied my thirst for your technology,
perhaps created from these very poems.
So all I want to know, all we ever want to know
facing the march of our mortal lives,
is if our progeny is still human.
Angela Acosta is a bilingual Latina poet and scholar with a passion for the distant future and possible now. She won the 2015 Rhina P. Espaillat Award from West Chester University, and her work has or will appear in On Spec, Penumbric, MacroMicroCosm, and Eye to the Telescope. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in Iberian Studies at The Ohio State University and resides in Columbus, Ohio.