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By Tracy K. Smith

There will be no edges, but curves.

Clean lines pointing only forward.


History, with its hard spine & dog-eared

Corners, will be replaced with nuance,


Just like the dinosaurs gave way

To mounds and mounds of ice.


Women will still be women, but

The distinction will be empty. Sex,


Having outlived every threat, will gratify

Only the mind, which is where it will exist.


For kicks, we’ll dance for ourselves

Before mirrors studded with golden bulbs.


The oldest among us will recognize that glow—

But the word sun will have been re-assigned


To the Standard Uranium-Neutralizing device

Found in households and nursing homes.


And yes, we’ll live to be much older, thanks

To popular consensus. Weightless, unhinged,


Eons from even our own moon, we’ll drift

In the haze of space, which will be, once


And for all, scrutable and safe.


Tracy K. Smith, "Sci-Fi" from Life on Mars. Copyright © 2011 by Tracy K. Smith.  Reprinted by permission of Graywolf Press. www.graywolfpress.org

Source: Life on Mars (Graywolf Press, 2011)

Poet Bio

Tracy K. Smith was born in Massachusetts and raised in northern California. She earned a BA from Harvard University and an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University. Her book, Life on Mars (2011), won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 2014 she was awarded the Academy of American Poets fellowship. She has also written a memoir, Ordinary Light (2015), which was a finalist for the National Book Award in nonfiction. In June 2017, Smith was named U.S. poet laureate. She teaches creative writing at Princeton University.

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