by Stephen V. Ramey
Stardate 2025:325. We touch down on Mars. Flesh-colored dust settles around the capsule as the creaking, cooling fuselage ticks down to silence. Your face is pale inside the helmet; your hand grips the armrest between us. I think of your fingernails digging into my back, a shock of pain-pleasure distantly penetrating a mind preoccupied with release. The window onto this world is so small, yet the vista is endless. I breathe into my helmet until the visor fogs.
Stardate 2014:135: Friday night popcorn and Netflix. We're watching a classic, something black and white, with softness and silence and all the things that grant us power over life. "She's beautiful," you say, and I watch you smile with the starlet's smile, tilt your head just so. "Yes, she is." I look into your blue eyes and think of skyscrapers, dams, the great accomplishments of man.
You lean forward--I miss you already--and pour something from a black bottle you've hoarded all night. It says Baileys. I say, "No thanks, I have a beer," as you press a plastic cup into my palm.
"What is it?"
"Irish Cream." You smile.
"We're celebrating." Today we uploaded our applications to Mars One.
"I guess we are." We click cups. I drink. The taste is so smooth and sweet I want to melt into it.
Stardate 2008:114. Our third date. You invite me inside. "I hope my kitty likes you." I'm allergic to cats, but would never say it, not with you standing there in shorts and halter-top. Your legs are endless, your breasts peek with white-glimpse deference.