Planet of the ________________



Your bones, skin hair, eyes, all the other parts of your body are encoded
in your DNA. So are all the parts of a chimpanzee’s body.

~Morrill Hall Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska

The Martians compare their faces to chimpanzees.
They lift rectangular screens to theirs and see
their long, slim bodies topped with scraggy beards,
rounded brows, and brown sentient eyes.
They press their palms against the glass to test
their hand size to the animal’s. They place a foot
on a raised platform with white footprints. Same
number of hairs, 99% same DNA, same fingers
same toes, human’s closest relative—all noted
in the museum’s learning zone display.
You lack an opposable big toe, says a Martian
who swings green legs while perching on a stool.
Everywhere the Martians explore evolution.
Masked and reflected, I can’t help but to stare.


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