December 31, 2016

Colette Arrand

Recurring Dream Wherein I’m Watching an Episode of Star Trek

 By Colette Arrand

In a way I’m my own manic

pixie dream girl: the man I’m fixing

is me, & the project of fixing me

up falls upon me like the work

of fixing a house that was built

in the middle of a storm

that never dissipates. We cower

in the basement, myself & myself,

both of us too inexperienced

with bodies outside our own bodies

to do the things we’d like

to do to each other’s bodies,

so instead we watch Star Trek.

In this episode, Kirk, Bones, & Spock

are on a rock in a system whose star

is about to go nova. There are aliens

with heads as bulbous as the head

of a penis, bulbous as our penises.

The aliens strip Kirk to his waist

and chain him from the ceiling;

he moans long enough that his

moaning doesn’t go unnoticed

by me or me or Bones, who’s always

injecting his friends with a hypo.

This episode is no different,

doctor’s orders. When the storm

lets up I leave myself

in the basement and visit

a doctor who asks me

if I know what I’m doing.

He uses words like “consequences”

and “regret,” but I stop him there:

I am the captain of this vessel

and I’m taking her wherever

I please. I can fill a hypo

with oil and inject myself

if need be, I can inoculate

one self at the cost of the other.

Star Trek believes that such

decisions are difficult

because people want to die

for other people so much

that no one meaningful ever dies.

In my house that is no issue,

there’s a me who wants

to die & a me who doesn’t,

& we care too much

about each other to protest.

We still meet from time to time,

as the dead are known to walk

in dreams. Now, however,

we both know what to do.

I can fill a hypo with oil

& inject myself, I can fade

& not fade away simultaneously.

There are things to investigate

beyond my body & my body.

We kiss & one lets the other

go on where he cannot.


Colette Arrand lives in Athens, Georgia, where she has spent the last four months watching Star Trek for the first time. While she highly doubts the series is going to get any better than shirtless George Takei, in an episode she recently watched Picard and Riker zapped a dude so hard with their phasers that his head exploded. So you never know. Her work has appeared in The Offing, The Atlas Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, and elsewhere. You should buy her zines at and follower her on Twitter @colettearrand.


Image: “Khan” by James F. Woglom