Size / / /

When clouds accumulate, the dome turns gray.

Never enough water, though. Or sound. Or fun.

An old flag and some yellow rocks your bouquet.

Our far sides are so cratered anyway

each impact only obliterates an old one.

When clouds accumulate, the dome turns gray.

You point to our radioactive elements, the way

we're always falling toward each other and the sun.

A flag and those yellow rocks your only bouquet.

Asymmetric hemispheres. That's us, you say.

I roll a layer of powder on my face. We're never done.

The clouds accumulating and dome turning gray

make the native plants seem picturesque looking for prey

with their cherry-coloured tendrils, their paralyzing blossoms, the way

they run past your stupid flag and yellow rocks. Your dismay

over the fine dust covering your breath mask that eats away

at the dome. I wish we'd never come here. You hide your gun.

An old flag and some yellow rocks your bouquet.

When clouds accumulate, the dome turns gray.

Joanne Merriam is the publisher at Upper Rubber Boot Books. She is a new American living in Nashville, having immigrated from Nova Scotia. She most recently edited Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good, and her own poetry has appeared in dozens of places including Asimov's, The Fiddlehead, Grain, and previously in Strange Horizons.
Current Issue
21 Sep 2022

There is little more inspirational than a writer who devotes her talents to the work of others.
I was twelve when my mother was born. Twelve or thereabouts. If I’d been older, I could have said things like I never wanted to be a daughter; I don’t have a filial bone in my body. Relatives could have tilted their heads at me, insisting I’d change my mind. But I was twelve so I said nothing. I had no relatives.
a few miles from the fallout zone. / You double-check the index card
Unripe morning / cut open too soon
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