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Next Year Will Be Different

Taylor Stanton

We move to Mars and bedazzle our spacesuits, writing bad poetry on neoprene-coated nylon. Our inside jokes left in pink permanent marker. We bound toward each other’s homes inside fiberglass bodies, lighter than we once were. We leap over canyons and discover buried lakes and lose muscle mass.

The years are doubled so we make up for lost time. We defy aging and live out our twenties for two decades. When our sixties come, we are all wrinkles and red dust. We claim our stick-thin limbs as home. We know how we looked before red. We remember each other’s golden glow and hungry eyes—how we craved more than Earth could give us.

Once, we rocketed from Mother’s nest toward ultimate freedom and the great unknown. We touched meteors. We talked back to Jupiter and asked to speak with Juno. Bellona rode into battle on a comet, gone in the blink of an eye. We saw Earth from a new perspective. We carved pictures of Her into the rocky ground.

When we’re ready, we meet at our favorite volcano. Sitting on rusty rocks, we talk about dead authors for hours or eternities—we don’t remember time. Silence comes and we take off our helmets. We glimpse entire galaxies in a single second and dream we’ve floated closer to the stars, weightless.

About the Author

Taylor is a content marketer by day. She studied English and creative writing as an undergraduate at Drury University. Her work has appeared in Polarisminiskirt magazine, and Capsule Stories Autumn 2022 Edition. She owns a disco ball and has a loud laugh. Seriously, you can recognize  her by her cackle. Her Twitter handle is  @TaylorStanton89.

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