a willow sapling by the alien boy’s house
sprouts a green shoot
enough ‘when i grow up’s
to drown it three times over.
too sheltered by well-meaning parents
with an already paved path in mind.
falling leaves change like answers to ‘when i’m older…’
he won’t live in an iron trap
wants to become an astronaut,
travel to the great unknown of planet earth.
when his pleas are met with silence
he wonders if robots can dream.
shriveled leaves sink into soil—
a never ending cycle.
metal plates for shimmering skin,
a memory card for his brain
spitting out strings of binary code.
how it must feel to trade a heart
for wiring and empty mechanism.
the human girl on a faraway planet
abandons her mental checklist.
graduate college, nine to five pace,
white picket fence—
a family, two kids, a dog,
robotic motions of life.
writes a new one—
become an astronomer.
‘too far fetched’
but so is outer space.
erase fate written in the stars
because she will not be an alien.