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It’s easy to imagine what an alien might look like  

when you strip away the familiar meaty exteriors  

and motley skullcaps of our human forms.  

What’s left is three pounds of pink convoluted matter  

resting like butter at room temperature.  

And below fiber tracts descend like a silver eel  

with charged appendages branching out 

To the parts that merely respond to commands.  

We swoon at the mighty when all muscles do is contract.  

Because flesh and pigment are useful distractions  

So, our shields become our masks.  

We can hide behind the aesthetics and force of a physical form,  

But we are more than the weight of our atoms.  

We are firing synapses and action potential. 

A composite of specialized tissue  

able to contemplate its own existence.  

Thinking matter calling itself a mind,  

disguised by a fixed size, but bigger on the inside,  

and traveling through time and relative dimensions  

In space. An alien species encased in an anthropoid shell,  

manifesting itself through our actions, and reactions,  

and experienced sensations.  

What else is a mind if thoughts have no mass,  

thus, no force for gravity to attract?  

Like dark energy accelerating our expansion  

while mysterious forces bind us to our forms like glue.  

Composed of energy and empty space.  

in the belly of              exploding           stars  

Only to invent ways of understanding the cosmos.  

We must be the universe         inventing itself.

This poem was originally published in Seisma Magazine.

Feature image via JSTOR