The light detectives knew this: In the future, forensics would be different. Human answers would no longer beach here, to start. There would always be some older John on the force going on about the way it was. You would tire of hearing around the vipercooler we used to have humans for all that stuff. Eventually money is pooled, a search party sent up. Darkness turns the radio down just enough to say it hasn’t seen us. We arrive at deep space. Demand her dove secrets. Report back, there’s nothing else here, boss.
On our return to earth some satellite face says an important robot has died. Now, lonely sounds like data loss. It’s back to studying torches, soft as night fingers. See, the light detectives just came through these parts. We heard them go body to body, asking after our harbors. It’s ghost-strange, the evidence they have planted of us. We see: their sky picnics. They think: We are just another cabin fire. Gone is still the missing ship. And yeah, they still make us humans work that beat.
Wendy Neale Merry, Colony
American, playing from New York, NY, USA
Wendy Merry is a poet and essayist from California. Her work can be found at Nano Fiction, Dossier Journal, Vesper, Joe and Gigs and others. She currently lives and works in downtown Manhattan where she manages a collective of street artists.
Thoughts on the Telephone process
I believe poems to be sonic, symbolic translations. So the trigger for this project spoke to my most joyous, instinctive place. But something about working within the ekphrastic process also made me think about trust. Somewhere at the intersection of experience and artifact we all take up decoding. But we also will be decoded. How can we embrace the permeability of how we will be read, recognizing that what informs us is entirely permeable. And then the silent exchange between artists. People as ekphrasis! (Haunting, humbling.) How do we express a life with the tools in our lap and then bravely pass everything on.