Howard Firkin
Had I returned and told the things I saw,
it’s true, I might have earned a lasting fame,
but no one travels to return the same
and I am not the man I was before.
The other living worlds are hideous.
They pulse with molten life, obscene
with replication, stinking of decay.
I forced myself to witness them, not look away,
and now I pay the price for what I’ve seen.
There’s nowhere that’s not better rid of us.

The only beauty in the universe
is emptiness: the energy of matter
existing in its absence, its inverse,
the frozen moment time saw timeless shatter.