David Rodriguez - "The McMurdo Dry Valleys"


so goes Mars, so goes Earth

scientists goggle Antarctican briny water

under valleys swoofed iceless by winds

littered in seal mummies

dry as truth


send electrical currents around

the Blood Falls’

iron oxide

where there may be

origin stories in aquifers


see four billion years dead the red planet

waiting warm and familiar

in a penthouse apartment

noisy with



perhaps our species can recreate it.

I can’t. I see her

circling me, double slow,

stylish, mysterious,



but there is my wife

on this planet and no other.

a re-home is the way

to new longing.

that is why Mars always already was


it cannot be.


David Rodriguez is a writer and teacher based in New Orleans with an MFA from Florida State University. He has previously been published in the New Orleans Review, The Southeast Review, Poetry Pacific, The Literateur, and The Double Dealer Redux, among other places.