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Two seconds shy of
seven days,
clockwork heart capricious,
you haven’t spoken
since February or Ganymede.
Remember neverwhen?
Sol bursting
over Io,
you opened your lips
and breathed
would-be human memory
pearl bright
rolling past your tongue
oxygen the flavor of
Brunei,
Zambia,
Brazil.
Synapses kindle
and I watch.

Quiver. 

Sever.

Now
Mundus Iovialis unwinds
behind your eyes.
A gasp.
1614
Simon Marius sputtering in the dark
between Forever Sleep
and trajectory,
between earth and Jupiter,
between your left eye
and the gears of your jaw.

Three kisses.
Four.
And still, you do not see me
hovering bone bright
beside you.




Lora Gray is a nonbinary speculative fiction writer and poet from Northeast Ohio. They have been published in F&SF, Uncanny, and Asimov’s, among other places, and their poetry has been nominated for the Rhysling Award. You can find Lora online at lora-gray.com.
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We found you, and you alone, in a universe that had forgotten to die.
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In my calculus class was a man in an iridescent polo and pigeon feathers in his dark, tangled hair.
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