Size / / /

the door is locked.

one of us outside, one inside,

me peeling stars from my shoulders

like chitons from rocks,

shining and wet with the chill of the Pacific,

you, volcano or limpet,

clinging to my mind's eye

like you were born there,

starlight streaming through your keyhole,

hermit with a come-hither suicide note,

written in a dead language.

burning with fury of subduction scorned.

Thoth took a page from your book,

searing language into brains

ill-equipped to use it.

we fumble with the matches anyway,

dementia boiling in the abyss if we slip,

so I'm out here now,

rubbing my shoulders raw,

staring into those million million suns,

and counting coup on my fingers,

making five out of two and two.

the god's book glows blackly now and

the door is locked.




An aether compactor by trade, David Kopaska-Merkel began writing poetry after witnessing the Ascension of Tim. He won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He has written 23 books, of which the latest is SETI Hits Paydirt  (Popcorn Press). Kopaska-Merkel has edited Dreams & Nightmares magazine since 1986.  You can reach him via email.
Current Issue
18 Oct 2021

Dreams were extensive and exhausting projects, not to mention expensive. Nightmares, on the other hand, were quick.
A low-slung hoverlimo, which coiled upward
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents K. Ceres Wright's “Mission: Accomplished.”
Issue 11 Oct 2021
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4 Oct 2021
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By: Wale Ayinla
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29 Sep 2021
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Issue 27 Sep 2021
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Issue 13 Sep 2021
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