The Invasion by Mark Seidl

Our alien abductors took us far from where we’d been, to red mountains, gulches of spiny brush, sun like a ladle crashing on a brass plate. The aliens had no eyes, nothing we could recognize as ocular organs, so eye-contact was out as a way to establish our intentions. We wanted to step into some shade but the cacti cast only small round shadows like the brims of sombreros. We wanted to show our alien abductors our basic goodness, our tender nature, and so held hands in hope that they, our alien abductors, had some conception of hands. Our abductors stood around us like columns of red rock scoured smooth by the wind. We looked at each other, you and I—what choice did we have? We took off our clothes, lay down before our alien abductors, and had sex. “Making love,” you said in case the aliens were confused. Is that what we’re doing? I said and looked at you like someone who has discovered a beautiful asteroid hurtling toward the planet. By the time we finished, our alien abductors had gone, in their place mounds of fine red sand rounded like the knobs of vertebrae. We stood and walked away, naked, to deliver the good news to the world.


Mark Seidl lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, where he works as a rare books librarian–the best job in the world! Poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Hotel Amerika, New Delta Review, Right Hand Pointing, and elsewhere


*Source photo by Raj Eiamworakul