Size / / /

for 17P/Holmes and Eric Van

He shakes the frost off his badger-black hair,

coming aboveground in the deadening cold

so absolute, the sky is bursting to black ice,

stars snapped loose—even a comet glitters

like gunpowder, in microcosm the universe

exploded, a clockwork of collision and dust.

The volume under his arm crackles open,

pried to pages of mica, their mathematics

crosshatched with a lacquer frieze of ink

shining under starlight, each uncalculated

vacancy diagrammed around with hazard,

sloe-leaves, ash-keys, fir-cones in a strew

around his feet assimilating unnoticed to earth

that shrugged him out, now summer's last

crackerjack tinder crisps colorless underfoot.

Between planets and parabolas, he winters out.

The moon bows and hollows like his smile,

right hand against left, not playing dice.




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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5 Dec 2022

We found you, and you alone, in a universe that had forgotten to die.
there is something queer about this intention—
In my calculus class was a man in an iridescent polo and pigeon feathers in his dark, tangled hair.
Wednesday: Nona the Ninth by Tamsin Muir 
Friday: Into the Riverlands by Nghi Vo 
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