Twelve of my sisters have attempted,
with varying levels of failure. This time,
my makers stop at no expense, bankrupt
themselves coating my windows with
diamonds. October 30th, 1981, I launch
from Baikonour spaceport. My expected
landing site: just east of the elevated Phoebe
Regio region. The importance of what
I’ll witness, they say, can’t be overstated.
But as my signal reaches them back on Earth,
I can’t understate how barren, how sulfuric,
how underwhelming. My planned design
life was thirty-two minutes. I live for 127.
But they weep as they see, for the first time,
how their sun looks from the surface of
another planet. I can’t figure out why
this is sad. No one’s told me
I have no more sisters left.