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Translated from Chinese by Annie Sheng

I traveled eight and a half months to finally pay a visit to
Earth’s brother, separated and scattered a distance away
Red, indifferent, subdued
an arid countenance I’ve never came across before
Dear brother—you're nothing like what I’ve imagined
There are no monkey faces, subterranean levels of pyramids, artificial canals
nor fingerprints, traces remaining from any intelligent life
not even a teardrop:
"How could Earth have such a reclusive, idiotic relative?"
Everyone harbors the same question in their hearts:
Has it not yet undergone evolution
or has it already reached Nirvana—?
The desolate chains of mountains and valleys
meteor craters like dense pockmarks serve to
record time from the birth of the universe to the present
And, from the depths of the vacuum, silently projecting
a ceaseless echo of a timeless invitation.
—Why not join me in meditation?
From primates
to plants, to minerals
to dust, to light
to cycles, to

(just like what mankind sees peering at the surface of Mars)

Ko Hua Chen (poet, fiction writer; Taiwan) studied at Tapei Medical University and Harvard Medical School, and now practices as an ophthalmologist at the Taipei General Veterans’ Hospital. He is the author of more than twenty volumes of poetry; his collection Tears of Ignorance was recently translated into Japanese and published. Ko Hua Chen is also a seminal figure in scifi poetry in Taiwan. As a practicing ophthalmologist and writer, he pioneered imagery drawing from the cosmos and extrapolations from scientific literacy, while imbuing Buddhist motifs into his poems. His recent works also address LGBTQ issues.