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Image elements contributed by Jskteez Vu and Scott Zona

There are things that passion doesn’t know,
things passion can never tell us
except that our loins grow
together with the rising of Arcturus, and
while we shiver and caress and
watch a planet’s light diminish
our loins intertwine; flower
beneath the final
falling stars.

“Minor uprising in Observation Ward Sol-3–92.”
This statement comprises the only record of
specimen removal — these being the last
remnants of a race revealed during
mining for once precious minerals.
An opaque race. We killed a minor poet,
Stephens, in the first wave to fall.
He said I could see beauty should
I decide to, a concept I have
long since struggled to grasp.
They removed the remaining poets for
clinical pursuits, and the others they
jettisoned them without life support
into space.

Distend toward the stars. Oh, my son,
your blonde hair feathers away from gravity.
I sense you only in traces, reflexes, and
could I think, I would think that
lovers can never decompose in space.

No warning at all. No bureaucratic backlash.
Just flash, and a handful of survivors trembled
in lead vaults as their planet disassembled
about them. No bomb could plumb their
world under so. No, unearthly fire befell them.
Like Sodom. No secrets of science here.
No predictable response or Mount of Olives either.
Doors of the Lead Vault Shatter

30 x 60 microprocessor cycles indicate the sole agent by which our solubility can be reduced is called oxygen, a common element on Sol 3–92.

Sol 3–92 was an insignificant planet mined for lead — a once precious element now produced synthetically and discarded after centuries of disuse. It seems oxygen was produced with photosynthesis, a technology we lack the capability to reproduce.

Image for post
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Image elements contributed by Hubble Telescope and Aaron Mello

Have you seen our moon though?
It hung like a scythe above my head
the night that I conceived you.
On this night, on this shelf,
I lie in my own water and
shudder between contractions.
In solitude, screaming into
surrounding night, I breathe and
shove against you, fear the
light radiating from your face.

Versions published in Periplum, Feeding the Crow and The BeZine.

Written by

Living metaphor. Follow me @stephens_pt.

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