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On the street of Athens
everyone, everybody
live, dying, dead, is lying
on the ground, eyes wide open
and watching, watching it fall

with lightning, wind, husks of trees
down from the night sky.
This celestial and terrestrial war
fire and water, stun them,
puzzled, intoxicated
with power, and a light
knocking on the door of Hades

the sink of hope, and savagery
worshipped by the void
collides and sparks
and blasted into a million pieces
devoured and digested
in its own trap.

A soldier is wandering
in this dark labyrinth
but he must have lost something
in the white and red behind.
He steps into the ruin, searches, back and forth
obsessively, compulsively

and stops in front of a dead man
closed eyes, on his white cloth, a bloody coin.
He hesitates, takes it, and talks to himself

“Even Charon won't come back.”
He tosses it into a tinkling sack
like stealing a red moon
from the silky sky
and letting it be blue for the day.



Liu Chengyu came from China nine years ago and is currently living in San Diego. He loves poetry and doing research on proteins. You are welcome to read his previous works in Strange Horizons, Aphelion, Grievous Angel, Silver Blade, and Abyss & Apex.
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6 Jul 2020

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