From an Alien to His Home Planet: This Is Earth, Here I Am
Katie pointed at her book, said we were looking at a robin
or something with an underbelly the color of a cut palm and I
just pressed record because I wanted you to see this, pressed
the button she told me to press so that I could send this to you
when I’m able. Katie said that she got that book for Christmas, “it’s
when we get a tree, and a wreath, and when Mom doesn’t forget,
we wake up early and pretend that we don’t already know
what’s in the boxes.” Katie lives on the surface, every house
in her neighborhood is thirty-two handprints away from each other
and she said, “here, this is a camera, it will collect everything
you want them to see. Just press start, and then press stop, you could even
re-watch it if you wanted, living your own day over and over
but no one ever wants to do that, unless you just got your nails done
or you got a new puppy, or your best friend made you breakfast, or it’s just
a really good day.” Did you know there are seven lines running
down the surface of a leaf? I asked Katie to hold up the leaf to my camera
but it blurred when I got too close. So this is what I’m telling you,
there are seven lines on a leaf all running toward different ends,
and you’re just gonna have to believe me. I asked Katie how to record
Christmas and she said I would have to wait until Christmas. I asked
Katie how to record all the reasons why her mom forgets the boxes
sometimes and she said there are some things you just can’t record,
and that’s one of them. I asked if I could record her laugh and she
said yes. It’s on the camera now, you’ll hear it when you skip
to the part where I touched water for the first time next to the leaf,
how a wave of water washed me out and left piles of muck to sink into.
I would have recorded the water, but Katie said it would ruin the film.
I want to know why the water would ruin this but her mom
forgetting Christmas wouldn’t but I don’t ask her. Katie gave me
something to wear. It looks like a rag and it’s as dark as the ring
around the sun but she says it looks ok. It makes me look
more human. Katie asked me what I missed while she
dragged her finger along the picture of the Robin’s tail. I said I missed
the feeling of sand. She said, “we have that here, just not right where
you’re standing, ya know? It’s here though, on Earth,
it’s all here.” But it’s not just the sand, it’s the view from the sand and out,
how you can look up and expect to see the same view every time
without it changing. I’ll record the ocean for you, I’ve never
seen it, but when I do I’ll take it in a tin can and throw it up
to where you are, it sounds big, and blue, and unlike anything.
I’ll take a leaf in my back pocket, hand pick it with seven stitches
running through the middle. I’ll find Christmas, maybe,
If I get there.
You have to promise to watch this, promise
to see everything.
I’ll show you.
Lauren Weiler is a recent graduate of Champlain College and is currently going through the painstaking process of applying for employment. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to write poetry in the kitchen of Olive Garden, black apron and fingers covered in breadstick grease, so she's getting ready to step into the world of “the 9-to-5.” Other than almost accidentally slipping pencils into customer’s never-ending pasta bowls, she has been writing poetry, creating stories, and blogging her work for years now. Cheers to that.