working on mars

everyone said it would be amazing! glorious!

new heights for new times! but all i want to say is

why don’t you take a fucking hike, scum

i didn’t ask to be thrown into this rat race

terraforming mars into something more

palatable for stuffy suits and the old boys

trailing behind them like banana slugs

and the commute! don’t get me started on that!

the fat cats, they have their teleportals but

the rest of us can’t afford it, can we? having to

take the long way down, cosmic elevator,

wretched shooter that gives me altitude sickness

and daily migraines, but no one cares about

the secretary in the short skirt, we care about

the customer, the wide-brim sun hat, even though

it’s not like anyone’s getting a tan up here anyway:

studies show that martian mud is a super-effective

sunscreen—and down on earth the ozone is depleting 

and the water is evaporating and the trees are dying

but that shit’s all happening to the people who just

can’t afford to stay alive, says my senior manager,

so here i am taking the long way down back to

poor old earth, popping an ibuprofen and crying 

underneath the moonlight, just to do it all over

again because i should be a grateful to be a woman

who gets to make money working on mars.

Kai Leung studies philosophy, and spends her free time engaging in creative writing and film photography. Her inspiration for working on mars comes from her obsession with sci-fi stories set in space, and her disapproval of actual space colonisation. Her work has been published in The Rice Bowl Collective, Superfroot, Yellow Arrow Journal, and an Unsettling Reads anthology. Instagram: @kai.thebadguy 

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