Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:


Abductors

We tunnel out of creases in the green-blue sky
   toward sparkling treetops
   on the curve of plantlit earth.

We hum across the photoverdant vineyards—
   rose and hemlock, root-rich dirt
   and birch, and leaf of pine.

Like green light burning in the stars—
   We hum and hover treetop-high.
   And then a glare of lights appears

And strobes along behind the pines—
   Hollow, pale lights. Nonphotosynthesizable
   light. In motion. On a dead black strip.

We tunnel to the hillside, where the light
   is lumbering, propelled by
   deep voltaic rage—

We make our slow descent—
   we de-electrify its psyche,
   which is like a lightning-thicket—

Its warlike loneliness bites us—
   The box stalls willingly. Its lights go dark.
   —All quiet on the blacktop strip.

The jackpines laugh, and we anesthetize
   the power source and lift it
   gently to ourself.

We calm its fear. We strip away its coverings.
   We numb it. Scan. We scrape
   and soothe. We drill, extract,

replace, insert and gouge. We warn:
   Neglect of inner power
   wrecks the outer life;

neglect of outer life will wreck
   the inner power. We look
   like devils to this bonsai mind.

We tag, reclothe and then return the lonely power
   to its box.—We overset the tangle
   with a dream of blue-green light,

And while electric rage regenerates
   and lights the jackpines
   shifting in the verdant, starlit breeze—

We tunnel out for home to try to learn
   how psychic storms survive to power flesh
   and consciousness boils from photosynthesis,

   before the feeble body of our race winks out.

 

Abductee

      A man may see how the world goes with no eyes.
   Look with thine ears.
                    —Lear

The red glow of the clock radio.
The bluish haze of streetlights
in the window. Is it? Wait—
a dream, a dream. My kingdom for a dream.

A coolness on my ankle, like a hoof.
Gently rising out of bed, and motion,
like an incubus exhaling on a breeze.

Not again.
Why me?

Teardrop eyes like giant walnuts
stare from whitish, wrinkled figs
detached from stalks. I'm looking up.
Glassy blackish eyes,
they're pinning me. I try to buck.
They stole my clothes again.
I’m on the table face up, again.
Again, a probe. Again
a twisting, deep and cold
and rigid, bruising.

Calm, say walnut eyes.
Small discomforts, say the deep opaquenesses
that stare like shrunken moons from nothing
into nothing. Here, me, naked,
nothing, animal with fear.

      Standing in a boxlike room.
I see my feet. Yellow-blue light, like fog.
Naked hairless calves, attached to the feet.
Fig heads float to me with a shirt.
My left hand finds a sleeve, slides in.
My thumb slips through the silklike cloth.
The shirt hangs like a halter
on my shoulder. A shoulder bare.
I can't think what to do.
I see my breasts, they ache.
A bent hand gently lifts another sleeve.
My right hand slides along the silklike tunnel.

No shadows in the gauzy light.
A bench along a wall
where I could rest. I take a step.
Foot slaps floor.
Bone-gaunt giant digits
guide me to the center of the stall.
The silklike shirt is still unbuttoned.
Breasts are arching there, I see them
in the distance, aching hills.
Thighs cold. Legs cold, skin white.
Brown pubic puckerbrush.
The pain—

All calm, say glassy eyes.
Small discomforts, say the blacknesses.
I think I'm screaming.
Bone-bent fingers press my arm
with nickel coolness, like the stable boy
who soothes the frightened mare.

Whose semen did you run up into me,
and mix with what? I think to scream,
but voices interrupt with voiceless cool.
All calm. The moonblack eyes.

The morning sun crystallizes
on the hardwood floor beside the bed.
Clock red digits slow to focus.
Morning misery. I'm late.
My eyes feel sore and pink.
My muscles ache. All night
I ran in dreams from Cossacks
small enough to crush
between your thighs.
I call my boyfriend.
“Now I think I'm pregnant.”
His silence says it all.

Let it be a dream, a dream,
The lather of an overactive id.
Let it not be true.
Sweet heaven, let it be unreal



Dana Wilde’s writings have appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Asimov’s, and The Quest, among many others. His recent books include Summer to Fall: Notes and Numina in the Maine Woods and Nebulae: A Backyard Cosmography. He lives in Troy, Maine, USA.
Current Issue
12 Oct 2020

That woman—the version of me that had invented time travel, and traveled back to save my sister—haunts me, nips at my heels, makes me work faster and faster every day.
By: Elisabeth R. Moore
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Elisabeth R. Moore's “A Layer of Catherines.”
an animal to another recommended/The Story of the Eye. . .
By: Stephanie Jean
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Stephanie Jean's “Recommendation.”
Issue 5 Oct 2020
By: J.L. Akagi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Lesley Wheeler
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Lesley Wheeler
Issue 28 Sep 2020
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 21 Sep 2020
By: Aqdas Aftab
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: David Clink
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Sep 2020
By: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Blackford
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Sep 2020
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Bethany Powell
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Bethany Powell
Issue 31 Aug 2020
By: R.B. Lemberg
By: Julia Rios
By: Sonya Taaffe
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: R.B. Lemberg
Podcast read by: Julia Rios
Podcast read by: Sonya Taaffe
Issue 24 Aug 2020
By: Leslie J. Anderson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Leslie J. Anderson
Issue 17 Aug 2020
By: Emma Törzs
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liz Adair
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Aug 2020
By: Anya Johanna DeNiro
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Laura Cranehill
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 3 Aug 2020
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Load More
%d bloggers like this: