Size / / /

You have to jump,
and it's a long one,
but you make the leap.
Far below, a few cars are moving,
their lights illuminating
the fog from within,
its swirls and eddies the internal organs of
You stumble and catch yourself
on the next roof with the fingertips
of your right hand on the gelid
Tar. You wiggle your fingers to
obscure any possible prints and
stroll over to the skylight.
She is waiting, alone in her bed.

There are so many ways to get through a skylight,
here are just a few:

* plunge feet first (closing eyes)
* rip it right out of its frame and toss it aside
* melt it with infrared eyebeams
* teleportation
* Slip through the crack where the water gets in.

But this skylight is open, and so you
simply jump down to the floor.

The girl smiles sleepily and opens herself.
You cover Brenda,
or whatever her name is,
while the CD changer shuffles through
some psychedelic rock.
It's good, very good, and lasts a long time,
superhuman stamina being what it is.

Afterwards, you trace the line of her jaw with a finger
that can poke through solid concrete.
She catches your finger and bites it playfully.
You slap her, not hard, and suddenly you are
No, you are fighting,
and it's taking all your strength
and art to keep your head from smashing
big holes in the floor and walls.
"Why Brenda," you say, "I had no idea."
She sinks her fangs into your neck.
You moan in terrible ecstasy,
your powerful limbs suddenly flaccid.
"Brenda, you suck," you whisper from
withered superhuman lips.

She picks you up and throws you into the
laundry chute. You slide down headfirst and land on
A pile of bodies. Somebody's thumb is in your eye.
"Fuck me, she caught another one," groans a faint voice.
It's Spiderman.
"Superman?" asks a thread-like whisper.
"He's not coming, Batman," Spidey retorts,
"he ain't that stupid."
"Anyway," replies Green Lantern,
"he's got Lois to wax his board."
"Well I only came because you did," Batman retorts angrily.
You won't die here, evidently,
But if these assholes don't shut up,
You may wish you did.


Copyright © 2002 David C. Kopaska-Merkel

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David Kopaska-Merkel writes poetry and short fiction because his short attention span doesn't reach any farther. Hundreds of poems, dozens of stories, and 7 poetry chapbooks have been published since 1982, in venues such as Night Cry, Eldritch Tales, Speculon, Aoife's Kiss, Space and Time, and Shadows Of. . . . His latest publishing venture (a collaboration with his daughter) can be found here. David's previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. For more about him, visit his Web site.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel won the 2006 Rhysling Award for a collaboration with Kendall Evans, edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine, and has edited Star*Line and several Rhysling anthologies. His poems have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. A collection, Some Disassembly Required, winner of the 2023 Elgin Award, is available from him at
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