by Heather Truett
I’d like to be there, but not to find aliens or get one over on the government. I would like to be inside that energy, the kind that leads you to whisper about extraterrestrials in the dark, meet strangers in a desert, not climbing literal fences, but breaking boundaries, nonetheless. I’d like to be inside one of those fifteen rooms in the local motel, booked solid, maybe sitting on a balcony as the sun goes down. Someone breaks open a glow stick, the neon green waving underneath a sky gaudy with stars.
I’d like to meet aliens like the linguist in that movie, Arrival, speak with inky hands and dry erase markers through thick glass. Some days I’d like to leave with them, give up on this battered atmosphere.
The galaxy is huge, the universe vast, and somewhere out there is a world I do not understand, where a species with a thousand eyes treks through snow and ice because of a meme on his communicator, and he has friends there on the frosty rock-strewn plain. He pours himself a mug of something steamy, intoxicating. Beside him, another creature cracks a tube and waves the flash of light at his buddies. They laugh, or smile, or do they even have lips, have voices? Whatever they’re missing, they are just like us in this one radical way.
They crave a strange community.
They look out past their brooding stars and wonder, “What if we are not alone?”
Heather Truett is an MFA candidate and an autistic author. Her debut novel, Kiss and Repeat, releases in 2021. She has published poetry and short fiction with Tipton Poetry Journal, Panoply Zine, Drunk Monkeys, and others. Heather also serves on staff for The Pinch.