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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)

  • Activities
  • Living
  • Love

Poet Bio

Tracy K. Smith
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. See More By This Poet

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