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Among the Cold Colonists
Is Deepfreeze Drinkfur

Even in permafrost's
ersatz my ship carries
still I feel watchful
out of your fleshscape
thrust of heartessence,
eating spacecold like
banked white dwarf!
Starlight avoids our
passage, that is
its duty to our needcall,
to drive out of any
sector we demand
room in, even from far off,
any filthy "natural"
presence of Before

And yet It taints you:
and me. As I grimly
inhale Galactolift,
drug for Longvoyage, still
in it I sense like dead kisses
behind your ice-plant
spattered skin is


out of systems we
cleared long ago
of all such kin, still forth
looks, knifesharp, keen,
deep in your eyes the buried
clawwork, surfacing
cutting my balls to untidy
fiery tiger-cub's wool unravelling.
Coiled pain.

Freezesleeper's Reply

In this cryopalace night
the icedreams glacial reckonings
bergging into cometary scars
around the mainsequence gold
of your thermofield, your needcall
sensed like distant mechinations
auroral swirls in the
cranial north of my spacecold
sleep embrace me
as we skirt the lightyears' lengths
of rifts and starstrands.

Will you be changed
when we stand upon alien bones
next planetfall, the new skies
yet again our own and
purified with our constellations?
The furnace wind of your lifebreath
rekindle the coal of heartessence?

In permafrost ersatz slumber the
blizzardsmear of your shape your
summerbreath rakes the sculpted
tundra of my aching flesh.


Copyright © 1994 Steve Sneyd and Gene van Troyer

Reader Comments

Work by Steve Sneyd, who lives in Yorkshire, England, has appeared in over 1,000 magazines and anthologies worldwide, in 40 books/chapbooks, and on the Net, been broadcast, including BBC Radio 4's Stanza, and read at many SF and literary events. He has also many published articles and books about SF poetry. Steve has no Web site, but you can read an online interview with him here.

Gene van Troyer presently resides in Japan. He writes science fiction prose and poetry, with work published in Amazing Stories, Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine, Vertex and other SF genre magazines, and is a past editor of Star*Line, the newsletter of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. His translation from Japanese of Yano Tetsu's "The Legend of the Paper Spaceship" is the most reprinted Japanese science fiction story in the in the world.

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26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
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