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Our ancestors watched it blossom

through ancient eyes

and made offerings to its spirit:

sweet cakes and honey and wine

left at the base of the telescope,

lives left at the altar of knowledge.

Now we circle its flame,

moths in metal,

seduced by the memory of its birth.

We waited in the light

of our thousand-flower sun

as the petals—our children,

our warriors—fell from the bloom

to their deaths. They broke

a pitiless enemy, were broken

in turn, and in the stillness

after battle we watched

their husks, stained

and darkened by flame, orbit

our compass star. We wept rain—

rain, forgotten between stars—

and we grieved like the shadow

that gives birth to worlds.

This is the story we will tell

their children's children

as we ride the night:

your fathers and mothers,

the thousand flowers,

fought with all the strength

of poetry, and the sun devoured them,

and they became the light.

Shy and nocturnal, Jennifer Crow has never been photographed in the wild. It is rumored that she lives in the woods near Buffalo. Her work has appeared in a number of print and electronic venues, including several anthologies such as Ruins: Extraterrestrial, Desolate Places, Jabberwocky 3, and Sporty Spec. Her blog is located here, and she may be reached by e-mail at
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