VIRTIS composite image of Venus  

glows dull infrared,
a surface of sterile baked igneous rock,
with motionless, poisonous, dense black thick air
Oh, yes, there's no question: the planet of love.

First published in Iron Angels
Copyright © 2009, Geoffrey A. Landis

Image Credit: ESA/CNR-IASF, Rome,
Italy, and Observatoire de Paris, France

Geoffrey A. Landis is a scientist at the NASA John Glenn Research Center as well as a writer and a poet. His poems have appeared in magazines ranging from Asimov's Science Fiction to Coventry Reader, and his first collection of poetry, Iron Angels, appeared from Van Zeno this year. (Information can be found at .) He is also the author of the novel Mars Crossing and a collection of short stories, Impact Parameter. In 2009, he won his second Rhysling Award for best science-fiction poem, for the poem "Search." He's married to the poet Mary A. Turzillo, and has a web page at