In 2023, a ship called Mars One
will depart from the surface of the earth
and never return.
It will fly forty million miles to a place
where human kind has never set its heavy foot.
Four people will be chosen to colonize a planet
whose ground is forever frozen and
whose two moons circle high above.
Four people will be the ones to write a history
for a new civilization.
If you could dictate the laws
of an entire society —
what would that world look like?
Decide quickly; you are one of the chosen four.
Careful, now, take care:
three, two, one, warning
this environment is volatile and any step,
any wrong move,
will set in motion a thing that began as
pure hope, pure potential
and it is dangerous.
And then quite suddenly,
in the space of a breath,
you remember how on earth, you tended to wonder
why people were so often looking up,
drawn to the sky.
The instant you step onto the rocky ground
of a whole new planet,
Three, two, one, you feel its warning in your bones;
it reached you before you knew how to hear it,
and burned you before you could flinch away.
You wear your scorch marks like
wedding rings; they are promises.
Remember how back on earth,
people were always looking up,
drawn to the sky,
but you could only bear to look down.