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For Melody Nova

For this comet's path I chose it, carved it
to be our temporary castle. In the act of opening
I let its secrets leak out into the starlight,
exposing this pocked and hissing water-ice
as blue as your seven elder sisters.
I shaped it to us till it shone. It is not terraformed
(this is no earth) but transfigured: a chiselled, burnished fluid.

You descend, shimmering darkly.
The scent of you, of alien metals, diffuses
into my atmosphere of breath and frozen dust.
And of desire: you, nebula-born, you empyrean beauty,
I would see you nova-bright and radiant,
pulsing, brilliant with every cosmic hue.
Yet I have tumbled through so many skies,
and found none to be your match. I have no stars to give.

I hold out my empty hands. As solar wind strokes the ice-wall
into light, into life, my reaching fingers glitter with their gift:
We are the void. (I touch your cheek.)
We hold the stars already,
and we burn, we burn.



Toby MacNutt is a queer, nonbinary, disabled artist, author, and teacher living in Vermont. Their work has previously been published in such places as Liminality Magazine, Arsenika, and Capricious Magazine, and their collection If Not Skin was published by Aqueduct Press. Find more of their work at www.tobymacnutt.com, or say hi on Twitter @tobywm.
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10 Jan 2022

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