Shelley Puhak

from The Failed Probe Files: Transmission from Anteros-18, #2,165
You told us to pick up a hobby so our flights might zip by. So I pick film. And I want a scrim. For my slow-motion, soft-focus shots. I’m going for a film noir mood—piano music, stairs and shadows. My star: a luminous, bluish runt. Vapor-plump. You said no, our lab cannot afford it, but can I count on you for nothing? You want out, want past, whether skin or sky. And if you grow sick of wanting, you can nap. What is my option? How to blur out what it hurts to watch? I want my scrim, or I shall not transmit again, no shots of this star-farm, no calculations of your galactic guilt. Without a scrim, so much lacks a plot, is just pornography: your lab rats and T.A.’s humping and thrusting; you post-docs always divorcing. You just want a body worthy of gravity. And I want a scrim. I want my first shot, my protagonist’s birth, in soft-focus: atom on atom, backroom moaning and huffing until— protostar. A baby. Sky-bound in the star-farm. Gas-fat.