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Content warning:

Clark, if you’re reading this I am already
as a mosaic of bone,
as a green, flameless candle—dripping.
I knew the risks.

You told me once
when you were small and afraid of the dark,
you walked into the basement
and sat in the middle of the cement floor
until the fear was a thin broth
you could swallow.

I need you to do this now.

Imagine me as a copper, equine statue
with my hand outstretched, as if to say
Let’s go that way for awhile.

Tell people I was too good for this planet.

I was not. They
are not.
What is grief
but a love that is
too vast for us?

Imagine me lost with our home world. Imagine me
splattered. Imagine me taking flight, rolling sideways
under a plane’s sleek silver back
and disappearing up into its engines.

Imagine me, facing the hunger
between the stars,
dancing between
its teeth.

Imagine my end
as the dark. Drink it
as slowly as you must
so you won’t be afraid.

Leslie J. Anderson's writing has appeared in Asimov’s, Uncanny Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, and Apex. She currently lives in a small white house beside a cemetery with three good dogs and a Roomba.
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