State of Matter

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I am awake,

eyes unravel

in hot coffee steam,

heart drifting

a thousand light years away

but mind, as always,

pecking through

facts and figures.

This outpost

is a sorry place,

but I’m a scientist

who must take pleasure

in the most arid soil,

the barest rock,

of a planet

that surely deserves

to be unknown.

Far from the breath

of a loved one,

this world kills

in a way

so no harm

seems to be done.

I’m roused

from dreams of home,

to reconvene with what

I’m being paid to do:

the travel,

the digging,

the assaying,

the reporting.

It’s a vast galaxy.

It’s beautiful

where I choose it to be,

ugly everywhere else..