Alien Rest Stops

I have come to believe that aliens are among us,

But that doesn’t mean they belong.

They might walk-in to our disused bodies,

But it would have to be—to them—

Like one of us putting on sealskin trousers,

Then swimming out to sea.

Inhuman inside a human.

How exhausting.

Every once in a while they must need a place to rest,

And where could that be?


There are certain towns—I’ve seen them—

Anonymous towns that smell like oil and rain and seaweed,

Where you can’t tell by looking what coast you’re on,

Where you can get a cheap room a few blocks uphill from the beach,

Where you can walk around pretty much unnoticed.


If I were an alien,

I’d find one of those places,

Like the damp one where the check-in girl

Said she’d been married six times

And you could see why,

Or that fishy one where the wind blew so much

And all the little board-floor stores

Sold kerosene and smoke-dried salmon tips.


I’d wait until it was nearly dark

And I’d walk down to the beach;

I’d look to see if anyone else was there,

Like that lady on the rock in the gray coat

And a plastic tie-on rain hat,

Or that man halfway to his knees in the foam

With his odd, wet dog.

If I could, I’d try to get close enough to look into their eyes

To see if they were one of me,

And if they weren’t,

I’d wait until the tide went out and night came on,

And when I was alone

I’d try to get out of the body for a few minutes…

Just long enough to feel the sting of the spray

On my own forgotten, familiar skin.

 © 2020 by RoMa Johnson. Web design by E. Hoyt Design