Size / / /

She touched her round organic limb

again, under the boardwalk, as the

harrowing strains of the Marsalis quintuplets

shook dust from the cracks and dimpled

in quivering stationary rings

the surfaces of tidal pools.

Yes, it was her karma to love the one woman

worthy of her attention.

The needle was her benediction,

alcohol lamp her matron of honor,

and by the time she emerged

in the bloody sunset

she was gravid with her child.

Oh God! She was perfection,

casting into the city her thousand

hungry eyes and ears and digesting

our emotions to feed her future.

She never forgot where she came from

even when the city became a brittle husk.

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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8 Apr 2024

the burrowing spiders, / backs the size of satellites, / orbiting your hair
And these meteors still fall to the earth.
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