an elegy for opportunity by Louie Leyson

On February 13th, 2019, the rover named “Opportunity” went offline after fifteen years of exploring Mars. In goodbye, a final transmission was sent: Billie Holiday’s 1944 recording of “I’ll Be Seeing You.”

In the aftermath of a dust storm
your grey body stilled

with all the grace of a dog
that dozes inside only the red ghosts

of lakes. Like Lorca, do rovers sleep
the dream of apples?

For a month I listened to nothing
but Billie: I’ll be looking

at the moon, but I’ll be seeing you.
For you, that month will repeat

itself like a spiral of veins
at the split edge of a virgin

landscape, voice of yearning
becoming years, a planet’s iron

floor becoming a human
body’s echo.

What else is Earth
but a mouth full of teeth?

What else is Mars
but an apple in the dark?

Louie Leyson is a Filipino writer and UBC graduate who lives on the unceded ancestral territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations. You can find their work in CatapultThe Malahat Review, Palette Poetry, The RuptureNat. Brut, and others. Their twitter is @aswangpoem.