I want nothing more than to smell these roses. I want nothing more.
My family, I will never see. Again. My crew. Rescue, is improbable. If they find me, at all, it will be frozen, my visor furred … with frost. Turning and turning.
The Earth is so far away. The Sun. There are no stars here. We had reached the black region, at last. The Mysteries. The journey, had taken all our lives. It has taken all our lives.
I am not sure, my dying, if I wanted it, to be otherwise. It is a mean thing. A shaming, thing. A dog crawls and is never found. Surrounded by children, disappointed, a man is also a child.
The roses. They are blackened and small, like poppies, dried by – the wind. When I touch them to the glass of my visor, the petals … break off. They drift away.
Merely holding them, is comfort. It is something. It is. But smelling them, if I could do no more, and in their ghosts find a last breath of sweetness …
I want nothing more than this.
Rolli is the author of Plum Stuff (8th House, 2010) and the forthcoming collections God’s Autobio (N.O.N, 2011) and Mavor’s Bones. His work has appeared in Rattle, SmokeLong and New York Tyrant. He lives in Canada.