Aphelion Issue 273, Volume 26
June 2022
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The Alien Who Became Invisible

by Thomas D Reynolds

In non-human form,
I am seven feet tall,
walk with a stomping gate,
and my gray tail knocks over furniture.

I'm used to rapt attention when I talk
and chairs offered when I enter a room,
not that I ever demand such attention
but for my size and one glowing green eye.

But sometime in the last year,
after assuming human form
and marrying a waitress at the local diner,
I became remarkably invisible.

My human form was developed
according to precise specifications
gleaned when I read her dreams
as she handed over my check.

I possessed a washboard abdomen,
bruised knuckles (a hint of danger),
a scarred, even gaunt, profile,
and a penchant for jeans and cigarettes.

The next day I strutted to the jukebox
after ordering a cup of black coffee
and she practically left this world,
beyond the fringes of the solar system.

She moved in with me that night
to the small motel room I'd rented,
and for a time I experienced human love
as sweet and fragile as a falling star.

But the dream quickly faded.
Her human skin felt parched and scaly.
I found nothing to say but a few grunts
edged with intimidation.

Her dream was but a distant echo
of a father always just out of reach.
Soon I was neither human or non-human,
only a bit of star dust swirling in sunlight.

This morning when I packed up and left,
she was watching television
and never even glanced up
though I was again seven feet tall,

possessed an odor of rotting tree stumps,
and smashed her grandmother's coffee table,
spilling tea on the faded gray carpet
without even so much as an apology.

© 2005 Thomas D Reynolds

Thomas Reynolds teaches at Johnson County CommunityCollege in Overland Park, Kansas, and has published poems in variousprint and online journals, includingCombat, American Western Magazine, Flint Hills Review, Alabama LiteraryReview, Aethlon-The Journal of Sport Literature, New Delta Review, TheGreen Tricycle, Ariga, 3rd Muse Poetry Journal, Sidereality,and Prairie Poetry.My poem "How to Survive on a Distant Planet," published in Strange Horizons,was nominated for a Rhysling award for best short poem.

Find more by Thomas D Reynolds in the Author Index.

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