Laura Madeline Wiseman

Judging from the changes that I have seen to occur from year to year in these spots,
one could believe that these changing grayish areas are due to Martian vegetation
undergoing seasonal changes.
∼Étienne L. Trouvelot, French astronomer, 1884

The Martian ate my comforter, mattress pad, and dust ruffle.
I only left the Martian in the bedroom for a moment as I dashed

to the guest bathroom to lay out toiletries, a towel, and washcloth.
There was batting everywhere. Large billows of spun polyester

on the floor, atop the fish tank, against the screen as the wind blew.
Long brown and maroon scraps, which were once my 500 count

Egyptian cotton sheets, draped from the lamp and dresser.
The Martian stood there in the middle of it all. No look of guilt. No

bulge in the belly to belie the act done. No sign of recognition.
This is where you sleep, not eat, I said. The Martian’s eyes

were flat and empty. I reached to grab a three-fingered hand,
but the Martian backed away as if I had done something wrong.

“Martian Food” appeared in the 2011 edition of the Labletter.

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