Transmission from Jupiter

I made it. Five years puffed like a lung

then collapsed. After so many kilometres,

I thought Callisto would be smiling.

Thought Europa’s beaches would have surf


instructors, coconuts frothing with lunar slush.

Isn’t travel always like that? The sky is dark 

but there’s no shade. Has the Red Spot 

gotten smaller, or have I 


just grown up? Days are short here,

and when it rains, the sky is a dive bar

strung with Christmas lights. It’s so nice

to get away from life. Haven’t worried


about zebra mussels since Mars. 

Siberian tigers, well, that’s harder. 

There’s muscle under all this 

marmalade, and I’ve got a hand 


on her flank. We’re going for a prowl

around the campfire. The forest is starry,

eyed. Keep your head in the flames

and you’ll miss us. You’ll miss us anyway. 

Claire Caldwell is a poet and editor from Toronto. Her first book, Invasive Species, was one of the National Post’s top five poetry collections of 2014. She was a 2016 writer-in-residence at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon, and a 2013 winner of The Malahat Review’s long poem prize. Claire is currently working on her second collection of poems and a novel for young readers.