Sunset on Mars

I lay on my back on a Sunday afternoon
Against the grass and underneath a tree
Gazing at the bright blue afternoon sky
With its gently drifting wispy white clouds

In the shade of that tree I let my mind run free
Wondering what life is like in the wake of death
But I’m stoic in the face of faceless deaths
The sorrow distanced by my distance

So I give faces to the lives that have been lost
Faces of those I hold dearer than life
And now the sorrow comes rushing all the way in
The bright afternoon sky grows darker

The sun begins to lose its light
Sounds surround me but the world feels silent
The weight of memories presses down upon me
Not the ones I have but the ones I’ll never

I try to summon the clarity I had
Of not losing life to death before I die
But nothing can enter an emptiness this large
I wait, time doesn’t; the lightless sun sinks

Can you save someone trapped within themselves?
Behind walls of sorrow and pain that let in neither reason nor beauty
But while one couldn’t the other broke through in that moment
When the setting sun set the sky afire

The colors of the sky dispelled my darkness
In their light I saw the world afresh
They shifted with each moment and each moment was perfect
I rose up, spread my arms and smiled

I was suddenly grateful to this uncaring universe
It didn’t work in my favor but neither against
And no matter what darkness my life was touched by
Its ephemeral beauty would always remain

The abundance of life around me suffused me
I fell to my knees, humble witness of the infinite
And while I might look away every now and then
To return to its beauty, I only had to look again

But fear began to seep into my contentment
For we could take all of this away from ourselves
Not just the slow death the world was already suffering
We could rain fire from the sky and extinguish all life

I wonder how many sunsets still remain
How much longer till it all comes crashing down
We’re dancing on the edge and blind to it
So the only options we have are soon or too soon

Our world might end but the universe is larger
And even after our end would its beauty remain
I find solace in that thought and a strange sort of comfort
So we may or may not see it from a new home amongst the stars
But it’d always be such a beautiful sight, a sunset on Mars


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