Size / / /

Occasionally a mirror reflects
out of boredom a dreamy face,
two eyes glittering with life
and a paper-creased forehead,
as I flip, zoom, turn, and pinch, 
and shift my attention 
from the gorilla screen 
to five straw-fitted elephants,
riding an Indian saucer, 
honking a wind chime
with their baby trunks.

Twenty-five centuries of space 
and time trapped inside a library 
of a gold-teethed memory chip.
Isn't it amazing? 
A time machine made out 
of zeroes and ones entirely!

Our existence has reduced to binary digits,
to be summoned by strangers at their will; 
awakened by man’s memory,
his loneliness and her curiosity.




Salik Shah is a writer, filmmaker, and the founding editor of Mithila Review, the journal of international science fiction and fantasy (2015-). His work has appeared on Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.com, and The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Volume 2). Twitter: @salik. Website: salikshah.com.
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20 May 2024

Andrew was convinced the writer had been trans. By this point his friends were tired of hearing about it, but he had no one else to tell besides the internet, and he was too smart for that. That would be asking for it.
You can see him / because you imagine reconciliation.
It’s your turn now. / the bombs have come in the same temper— / you in your granny’s frame
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