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From the brawling bars of Mars

to the dim cafes of Aldebaran,

the music of deep spacers

reaches to the unbounded sky.

Most often it is a raucous music

of passions intense and fleeting,

brutal and lacking in subtlety,

a release from light years passed.

Yet when the last call comes and

the lights flicker, and cafes

and dim bars are shutting down,

the music all at once changes

to a vast and haunting refrain

that echoes the depths of space,

the solitude of ceaseless travel.

Stumbling out into the night,

singly, in pairs, and in groups,

strains of music trailing behind,

the spacers wander alien streets,

in search of temporary lodgings

beneath the static of the stars.

Bruce Boston is the author of forty-seven books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener's Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has received the Bram Stoker Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Asimov's Readers Award, and the Grand Master Award of the Science Fiction Poetry Association. You can read more about him at and see some of his previous work in our archives.
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