I am someone whom they wish to destroy.
I sleep on my spaceship. At night, plaintive
cries keep me awake, won’t let me finish
my book of revelations. Claire, do wash
carefully: restrooms conceal a virus.
The radio messages are unclear.
I had a high security clearance;
this all began with a blocked artery.
In surgery, a thought-sensing device—
how, I don’t know—they managed to implant,
with a camera, too. Now, Claire, they watch
each infra-red pulse. This plot’s infinite.
Pretend you don’t see them, or they vanish.
Aliens attacked me—with nuclear
capabilities, Claire! They’ll never catch
me; the safety’s off. I’ll take this story
public: call Washington; file a complaint.
Citizenship entitles to service,
not government surveillance vis-à-vis
TV, betrayed by scratches in varnish
But those thugs won’t find me compliant:
I’ll hole up on the moon’s dark side, declare
I’m bankrupt, up a famed estuary.
Claire, don’t reveal my source of tainted cash.
Others—Claire, I know we’re not alone—check
for signs in heaven, listen for voices.
I’ll show them the conclusive site of Troy.
My manuscript, although it’s unfinished,
proves all. I’m editing for clarity.
Time is spun by a sundial on a plinth.
They’ve traced us to another planet,
a duplicate of ours, Claire—with a catch:
everything they don’t know about you, Claire
(illegitimate daughter of the Vice-
President, with a sweet affinity
for violence); your altered history.
Claire, don’t self-destruct. She who is Not-Claire, doppelgänger, plant,
kills slowly—a fine art. Try, Claire, to safeguard our secret cache
of toxic jewels. Are you there, Claire? Me again. Please advise.
Study of Two Warriors’ Heads for The Battle of Anghiari (c. 1504–5), by Leonardo da Vinci. Black chalk or charcoal, some traces of red chalk on paper, 19.1 × 18.8 cm. Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest
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