I’ve come to hate the sunrise on this planet.

Never mind the electric purple fractures in the horizon which beckon the arrival of Ontonic’s infamous lilac thunderclouds, which lug their deep purple pillowcases of sweet summer showers for the wildlife to bathe in. Shortly after, the sun warms the planet with a pink sheen of fog, settling upon the technologically advanced jungles and tourist havens. Some may call it heavenly, or even angelic. But in my eyes, the sun is a constant, looming reminder that a new day has begun on this mirage of a planet. Many would kill to be in my straw-weaved shoes, but step-Planet Ontonic is nothing like Mother Earth.

If you ask anyone other than its lifelong natives, they’d say you have never lived until you’ve had an Ontaro Mojito overlooking the sunrise of Ontonic. But if you ask the natives, they’d say that the planet’s beauty, its exclusivity, its raw health and vibrancy, died the day Earthlings stepped foot onto its soil.

Once a scenic oasis of lush jungles and waterfall lagoons, now an intergalactic resort location. Tourists and relocated humans bathe in the drinking streams and pluck Ontonic’s premature harvest. Crushing everything they hold sacred beneath their plastic, mass-produced sandals.

I don’t blame them; the tired, angry locals. Though, through virgin Earthly eyes, I can see the appeal…

Upon landing on the solid Jade Runway of Ontonic, between the pastoral mountains and repurposed, urbanized villages, your bags are taken from your hands. A mimosa stuffed with unrecognizable exotic fruit graces its place as you follow a kind native woman to your suite. You compliment her pointy ears and Tribal Tattoos and ask about their meaning, careful not to capitalize on the intricate incantations carved into her spine. Whether she was branded against her will or with open arms, what does it matter to the woman with a return flight in 3 days?…

These tourists are here as their associate’s arm candy, not as a humanitarian prepared to free those working under life-threatening conditions. They are here to be served as guests; to bask in the beautiful Ontonic rivers and lounge in the fully staffed bungalows which were once utilized as prayer huts or birthing suites. These tourists have landed on this planet to party and to gamble until the crack of dawn; only to retire to their suite and toast to the Galaxy’s romance Capital as the sky ignites into a kaleidoscope of auroras.

Sometimes, I see the appeal. How could Earthlings know their bungalow was once home to a seven-member family? Or that their lazy river was once a sacred untouched landmark? Sometimes, I can be empathetic.

But then I remember life on Earth. I remember public high schools and the dull, muted grass the building stood upon. I remember the public parks, and how I used to look forward to seeping my hands into the septic dirt to make mud pies for my bird friends. I remember how much I loved Thanksgiving; the extra greasy Turkey and the loaded stuffing, binded together with salty gravy from a can. But most importantly, I remember the Native Americans, and how they once welcomed foreigners onto their soil, with open arms and a luxurious feast. I remember how every Earthly American school in the month of November spoon-fed this small blurb of genocide onto our plates, and I remember how we all should know better.

As I, a foreigner, an Earthling, with no right to bash my species as I stand on this planet, do my best to live as the Ontonics do, I remember the past. And I hope this planet spits us back into our aluminum cans and back onto the rotten planet we ran from.

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