Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
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Flash Fiction
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Duc du Nuit Noire

by Meaghan Clyne

I’ve seen your visage
in the silence of the night,
heard your voice
in the stillness of the moon,
as it slips behind a nimbus cloud.
You are the grit of Pangea upon my fingertips,
the dust of the Sinai in my eyes.

Where rage is not enough
and love only a four-letter word,
where Absolute Zero is not the coldest chill and
atomic clocks stop to find out the time,
when my soul refuses to believe
all that they have taught me,
then you are there.

Standing weed-like, too tall,
so straight in the dim streetlight.
There are fangs hidden in your smile
and does not my flesh welcome
the bite, the rending of skin,
the kiss of pain? Yet do I not fear
the numbness your touch can impart?

The hoary hands of the grandfather clock
stand at attention. And midnight is some
child’s game we must play like
mumbliepeg or cat’s cradle.
The single eye of that streetlight
is Polaris constant, a beam of photons
cascading upon your face.

You are no shadow,
no past,
no future.
A moment of costly joy to purchase
and you are gone -
gone like the gibbous moon
slipping behind a nimbus cloud.

© 2005 Meaghan Clyne

Like the late, great Doctor Asimov, Meaghan wants to see more poetry in the science-fiction genre. This is her first Internet publication.

Find more by Meaghan Clyne in the Author Index.

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