Size / / /

After a period of rest
I felt able
to answer questions
regarding the ordeal.

"What was it like?"
family, friends whispered,
shoulders and chins bent close,
as though speaking lowly would diminish
their ghoulish curiosity.

I let a pause linger
in the air, then answered.

"There was a tunnel. Many of them
in fact. I saw old friends, family
long since disappeared,
and strangers--
so many strangers whose faces
I knew from somewhere, and I felt
the impact faces have upon another.

There were forests, animals, roads
and terrible things in dark
turnings like holes, things

I don't want to think of.
And finally a light, yes, that light,
if not warm, not cold either,

encompassing all I could see and feel.
I wanted to remain, to feel
what that light was capable of feeling like.

But I knew it wasn't the place
or time for me yet.
So I came back to you, and I am
as you find me, for better or worse."

And their small smiles and low laughs
at my self-deprecation seemed meant
to diminish as well the curiosity

of ghosts relating boneyard tales.


Copyright © 2004 Tobias Seamon

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Tobias Seamon's first novel The Magician's Study is forthcoming in Fall 2004 from Turtle Point Press. Past/future publications include Diagram, The Mississippi Review, Smartish Pace, and Strange Horizons, among others. A contributing writer with, he lives in Albany, NY. His previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. To contact him, email

Tobias Seamon's first novel The Magician's Study was recently published by Turtle Point Press. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Mississippi Review, Pebble Lake Review, Santa Clara Review, and Strange Horizons. He lives with his wife in upstate New York. You can see more of Tobias's work in our archives, or send him email at
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