Escape from Europa

I roll and bank, propelled by song, across the mustard sky,

I flap my arms to catch the breeze and spin and swoop and dive,

The constellation couples court, and dance and whirl and swap,

As Saturn’s sweet serenity approves our ceilidh hop.

 

I dance with all the girls in turn, my arms begin to tire,

Until you take me by the hand and set my world on fire,

The flames complete the ancient dance, engulf us as we spin, A night for love and merriment, a night for blessed sin.

***

Cold.

Cold and dark.

Cold and dark and wet.

Europa.

 

They said,

The roses spread outside the dome through the air filtration system.

They said,

The roses grew faster than anticipated due to my unapproved genetic modification.

They said,

The oxygen produced could cause a dangerous imbalance in Titan’s atmosphere due to the high concentration of hydrocarbons.

I grew the roses. I grew the roses for my love.

With trademark ingenuity,

I planted them in foetid leaves,

Then modified genetically,

And labelled alphabetically,

I left them for about a week,

And when I checked what did I see,

But pea green shoots from two or three,

A rose had grown where none could dream.

They said,

It was gross misconduct and criminal negligence.

They said,

It was a betrayal of horticultural principles and the trust placed in me by the people of Titan.

They said,

I had endangered those around me, had shown little to no remorse and should be incarcerated on Europa with immediate effect.

Tonight I escape.

***

Grounded by the atmospheric

Pressure I begin to run,

Short and squat with giant arms, the

Ape that Titan Man’s become.

 

Pounding down the empty tunnels,

Looking back at where I’ve come,

At the open cell doors and the

Shark man shot with his own gun.

 

Blood drips down from where he bit me,

Leaves a pattern on the floor,

Like a bed of crimson roses,

With a scent that sharks adore.

 

Something’s lurking in the darkness,

Cannot seem to shake it off,

Turn the corner straight into a

Hammer-headed behemoth.

 

Raise the gun and pull the trigger,

Gaping maw a great crevasse,

Bullet jams inside the chamber,

Stands aside to let me pass.

***

I roll and bank, with deft control, traverse the barren space,

Between myself and you, my love, to once more see your face.

The stars burn brightly, shining down their never changing pattern,

My craft begins its long descent between the rings of Saturn.

 

Our small moon comes into view and my heart sinks with shame,

Where once there was a cityscape is now a sea of flame.

My roses bloomed where nothing could, and breathed life to the void,

The void replied with great fervour; my roses were destroyed

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