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They came from the sky.
They fell; crashed into people’s backyards, and storefronts,
parks, and empty fields.
There were so, so many of them.
All fallen, hurt.

We took them in—
because we were kind back then, and we were foolish.
Because when they smiled at us, they were beautiful.
They came from the sky.

And then we started to fall.

Then they came (as if from nowhere),
she who had summer pressed into her skin,
and he who had stardust in his hair,
and a blade of obsidian
(the bag on his shoulders had shotguns and crossbows, and handguns and rifles.
And bottles and bottles of ashes).
He liked a good hunt. And we were so very grateful.

There were too few of us, and oh so many of them.
(We remember their smiles. They were so beautiful.)

We let him hunt; we helped her collect more ashes.
And we thought—
(because we were kind, and we had hope, and we were foolish)
we thought he was invincible.

And he was. For a while, he was.

There were too many of them, and so few of us.

So, we buried him in stardust
(and bottles and bottles of ashes).
And she mourned him the most;
she who had summer pressed into her skin.
And twine and grass braided into her hair
(as green as she was).

She took his blade of obsidian, and held it as if it would break
(as if it would break like a heart).
She didn't like to hunt, and we were so lost.
There were too many of them.
And even though they had fallen once, we were falling faster now.

She took a crossbow from his arsenal.
And we thought she was foolish
(because she was kind, which made her weak).
She couldn't even hold a blade right
(but she was beautiful).

They came from the sky (so many of them).
But so had she.
A long time ago.
She who had summer pressed into her skin,
and ashes under her fingernails.
She had fallen once.
Never again.

She washed the summer from her skin
(and the kindness from her eyes).
Now there is stardust in her hair.

And gunpowder and obsidian in her wake.




Snigdha Chaya Saikia is an English major at Handique Girls' College, Guwahati, Assam, India. When she's not crying over late assignments, she writes speculative fictions (and forces her friends to read them). On select Sundays, she's a crime-fighting octopus. You can find her on Tumblr at canvasconstellations.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
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