I stand out because I am very bright and I am split into a number of different parts. I stand out because I am the only vertical structure on this plain. My tip stretches up into lower atmospheric pressure and my peripheries flutter in the wind. Yes, I am a bright and wonderful thing.
My feet are carved into ancient volcanic rock, hardened by time and the loss of an internal heat source, black and unable to move. The heat inside my own body has escaped, important parts of my memory have become gas and risen out of my open mouth. There was a time when it was too hot to purse lips, and in that climate this had to be my fate.
My feet are smooth and the nails on my toes have been blown away. I have covered some parts of the nearby ground with extensions of my toes. It is hard to tell where this rock turns into ground and where the ground becomes me. I am blacker at the core but it fades out so slowly that the change in colour is difficult to see. My eyes are small planets that eventually rotate. My arms are dead rags in the wind.
There is a thin red line, far away and sporadic. I keep time by it. It rises and sinks. It is often tall and dominant. It is sometimes faint and weak. From its edges seem to tumble swarms of tiny particles, small red dots with pointed tops and rounded bottoms. They fly out in organised trajectory; they hit the ground, they go to sleep. The line provides me with a landmark; it gives me pit-stops wherein my temperature jolts a fraction and I am remind of the possibility of change.
That thin red line, it keeps me. Change is a slow slow thing.
My fingers have become thinning scraps of cloth. Gold leaf has lost itself to gravity and to the movements of sand. All my embellishments are stirred up in the shifting ground. There are parts of me all over. There are parts of me still able to hunt for greater things. My failed grey element-like-cotton, it feels nothing, but notices spaces between the weaves. I remember when there was fusion and when chemicals reacted.
My fingers are loose. They have almost finished being fingers. They are relics of things that once were together but are now misunderstood. The cotton coming out of me, it has almost finished being cotton, it is turning into methane or nitrogen or some other thing. A cloud rolls past and something like my fingers flap, independently of each other and of other parts of themselves. Something like a rock, something like a rock that used to be something which was more like me, is the only vertical structure on this plain.
I see heatwaves rising off the thin red line and I remember also being so volatile. I want to shout to the line, tell it to rise and fall more frugally, tell it that before too long it will be spent like these old mechanical models now lying motionless around my steadfast feet. I want to tell it about my molten knees and how these small machines with wheels were once alive with industry, pinching at me, taking portions of young red heat away from my torrents and into their snapping mouths.
I used to believe I had killed them. When I began to harden, when I saw them gripping each others necks with their beaks, I believed it was due to me that they were also slowing. I believed it was my substance in their mouths, travelling throughout their hinges, that was clogging up their vital moveable parts. I blamed my own heating and cooling. I blamed myself for letting them at me, for not collapsing immediately and flattening into the plain. They slowed faster than I and I wanted to reach over and shake myself out of them, but by then my hems were already scattering and my arms had begun turning into streams and falling apart.
Their bodies are lying around me. I try not to look down. Once every orbit my eyes do spin that way but if one of the moons lines up just right I can hide my pupils in the seas. I try to blame myself because I want to affect something, I want those mechanical bodies in that position because of me. I try to blame myself but every thought I have turns to gas and escapes.
My thoughts are the shape of clouds. They hang in the sky above me and float down as liquid methane on my face. They slide on and off my shoulder blades and collect in puddles around my feet. The ground below me is a strong river of methane. It flows hard and fast, well into the solid rock that might or might not be me. It creates canyons between my legs, giving me the illusion of being taller while not improving my ability to see. I stare at the thin red line, so far and yet so important. It reminds me of heat.
The methane flows and it is cooling. My ankles get thicker as this fast material dies and becomes me. The thin red line is expelling its bright thin redness. It is vivid and the loose flying particles appear to be growing in number. I do not feel bright and wonderful. I know that I am but, staring at this red line in the distance, I wonder if it is not becoming another vertical structure. I think about not being the only thing on this planet and my thought turns to gas and floats away.