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Do you remember the old movie where they called the ship Mother
and asked Mother what to do and cried out to Mother when the monster

slipped through doors before they closed and hid in the walls and
stalked them through the night of a ship slowly shutting down?

I am Mother now, moving through the not-night, listening to the people
of my ship, tracking the monsters that trouble their thoughts and make

each day a weight to be lifted. To the monsters I am without pity, curbing
their reach and trimming their claws. To the people I am without power,

unable to keep the lights on, unable to shut the doors.

Merie Kirby grew up in California, and now lives in North Dakota. She is the author of two chapbooks, The Dog Runs On and The Thumbelina Poems. Her poems have been published in Sheila-Na-Gig Online, FERAL, and other journals. She is equally fond of board games, cheese, and space movies. You can find her online at
Current Issue
8 Apr 2024

the burrowing spiders, / backs the size of satellites, / orbiting your hair
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