First, we made sure the world was devoid of sentient inhabitants.
Its turquoise skies grew greener (we thought) as summer waned.
On the wine-dark sand we drew diagrams and planted pennants:
a cultural center here, a spa or hotel there, on an imaginary beach.
At least one of the suns was always rising, and the light perfect
for filming, as if the planet were a vast, floodlit stage. Shadows
radiated and swung like compass needles in a geometer’s dream.
Our shielded clothing and the protective coatings on excavators,
fabricators, and constructors faded quickly under the incessant
illumination. No one could agree on what the colors had become,
but we tried to name the new shades anyway: peripatetic, swelter,
welkin, shudder, grudge. All our off-world concepts lost relevance—
something about the fluctuating solar spectra. Estimated project
completion was indefinitely postponed.