Size / / /

It was supposed to be a time machine.

When I turned it on, it snowed

unlikely flakes

as big across as teacups.

Delicate, huge, six-pointed—yellow.

It was like walking through frozen sunshine.

All afternoon, drifts of sunset pinks, orange, gold;

red and purple near dusk,

a million blues.

I stood outside in the dark

pointing a torch upward.

Vast black crystals fluttered down at me.

At sunrise I turned the machine off:

it rained.

Great green drops that bounced twice

after they hit the ground

and made a noise like laughing.

So I put the machine back on

and the drops unpuddled and leapt back into the sky,

pelting upwards with a liquorice-scent and laughter.

I broke my machine apart

and cried when it snowed again.

Snowflakes with seven points, or three, ten, fifteen.

Flakes the size of peas, or barrels, or grain silos:

one blotted out the light and crushed my outhouse.

The snow itches on my skin, and swears,

and flashes like Christmas lights.

I think I broke the world.




Rio Le Moignan is from Guernsey but currently lives in England, and gets upset when people assume she's English (with a surname like that?). This is her first published work, and she is very surprised that her breakthrough was poetry rather than a short story. You can see more of her work on her website.
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18 May 2020

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