Size / / /

They belong dead, but we resurrect them

in silver nitrate and the feverish flicker

that dreams beat against the inner eye,

the yearning golem, his disdainful mate,

the alchemist as eccentric and involute

as his flasks and alembics proposing

a toast in gin like white mercury,

the shadow stitchery of Paracelsus

and Prometheus' fire. Like cornerstone

shades, they seep beneath our century,

the lyke-wake wedding, lightning-engraved,

the dragonseed breeding of current and bone

that gendered only ghosts, replicant echoes

in red earth and Tesla coils, a shy chemist

who once saved me a sunflower to pluck.

To all the ways we strive and multiply,

to creation, to the divine and monstrous,

the scientific world and all its hauntings

black and white: l'chaim. It is our only . . .


Poems and short stories by Sonya Taaffe have won the Rhysling Award, been shortlisted for the SLF Fountain Award and the Dwarf Stars Award, and been reprinted in The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. A reasonable collection can be found in Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience. She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale. Her livejournal is Myth Happens.



Sonya Taaffe reads dead languages and tells living stories. Her short fiction and poetry have been collected most recently in the Lambda-nominated Forget the Sleepless Shores (Lethe Press) and previously in Singing Innocence and Experience, Postcards from the Province of HyphensA Mayse-Bikhl, and Ghost Signs. She lives with one of her husbands and both of her cats in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she writes about film for Patreon and remains proud of naming a Kuiper Belt object.
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A crack in my leg opened my world, shattered it like thunder announces the arrival of lightning
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