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I want to smelt a cold 'or' into 'and,' to see your blades fall at the tilt of my wrist. I'll be as inscrutable as lizard eyes, yielding as molten gold, as dunes towards storms
And each drop of spilt green blood
Will plummet down roots.
Phobos and Deimos, alien mockeries -
Make our moons birds of prey. They will learn how to hunt.
Where I come from the nights are long. Sand tears at parasite pale flesh.
You cut down our soldiers and I forgot breathing. Bereft of oxygen in your glass-steel domes, will you shrivel into the child I was?
I'll deliver bloodless televised victory to the sterile tally of acceptable deaths, reclaimed emeralds pouring like stars down my neck.
You barred from me the mountain songs of womanhood. You civilize at swordpoint, preach caged propriety. I have learned your human kindness; I will lap up your language and sciences in an eager façade, swear ignorance of deserts waiting to expel your bones, count patient years in false Earth days.
Our planet had an Empress once.

Ennis Rook Bashe is a Jewish-American lesbian. Their work has appeared in Vitality Magazine, Solarpunk Press, The Future Fire, Liminality, and the Outliers of Speculative Fiction anthology. They tweet about queerness and speculative fiction at @RookTheBird.
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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.
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