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I open my fingers, drop the pen.
It bounces on the forest carpet,
lands on a trail of blood kisses.
I follow the path homeward
left by your furious flight
to find you sprawled
on the bedroom carpet,
mouth open, begging
as words collapse.

In the cries that pool
from your red lips
I discover fulfillment.
Gently, I touch your eyes,
to draw down their lids.
Place your arms crossed
upon your small chest.
What a perfect solution
to end our fantasy,
my darling Gretel!


I tore through the foliage,
leaving you far behind.
I was always the swift one.
Swifter of eye, mind, and heart.
I marked the bark of trees,
the sun-warmed stones with kisses.
I tied my scarf to the bridge
that crosses the old mill run
so you might follow my path.

At home I took up my pen
but the words would not come.
My breath could not catch.
When you found me gasping
alone on the bedroom carpet
a slow consummation stained
the staid blue of your eyes.
How could I have guessed
you had fallen so far behind
that our tale was over?


Copyright © 2001 Marge Simon and Bruce Boston

Reader Comments

Marge Simon teaches art in Florida and freelances as writer-poet-illustrator. Her work has appeared in many publications, including Tomorrow, Space & Time, Dark Regions, EOTU, and Nebula Anthology 32. A former president of the SF Poetry Association, she edits a column on poetry for the HWA Newsletter and contributes a column on art to Scavenger's Newsletter.

The author of twenty-eight books, Bruce Boston has published in hundreds of magazines and anthologies, including Asimov's SF, Weird Tales, Pushcart Prize Anthology, Year's Best Fantasy and Horror, and the Nebula Awards anthology. In 1999 the Science Fiction Poetry Association honored him with the first Grand Master Award in its twenty-two year history. He would be delighted if you sent him mail. Bruce's previous appearance in Strange Horizons was "Surreal Domestic."

Marge and Bruce will be married on 7 April 2001.

Bruce Boston is the author of forty-seven books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read more about him at and see some of his previous work in our archives.
Marge Ballif Simon free lances as a writer-poet-illustrator for genre and mainstream publications such as Nebula Awards 32, Strange Horizons, Flashquake, Space & Time, Dreams & Nightmares, Aoife’s Kiss, Dark Regions, Fantasy Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine, EOTU, Tales of the Unanticipated. She has illustrated three Stoker award collections. Her illustrated poetry collection, “Artist of Antithesis” was a Stoker finalist in 2004.
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