Aphelion Issue 287, Volume 27
September 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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by John Grey

I'm on a flat, interminable Texas road,
at twilight.
I pass scattered towns shuttering
down to the last man
in faded blue overalls.

Field after field
is slipped, like a handkerchief,
into a pocket of shadow.
I've only my headlamps
and the parallel train tracks for company.

Sky suddenly blazes with light,
a round object in the sky,
blotting the moon,
shimmering the oil derricks.

I turn on AM radio,
every station nothing
but country radio.
I can imagine those aliens
tuning in.
Are all earthlings
soppy-two timers
and honkytonk angels?

I've been eight hours
futilely chasing down that horizon.
They've crossed
who knows how many light years
of endless space.
Neither of us is from here.
We could stop awhile
but we haven't it in us
to truly stay.

I'm an east coast boy.
They're probably from somewhere
beyond Betelgeuse.
We could tell each other a thing or two
when it comes to endless highway.

© 2013 John Grey

John Grey is an Australian born poet. Recently published in International Poetry Review, Sanskrit and the science fiction anthology, "Futuredaze" with work upcoming in Clackamas Literary Review, New Orphic Review and Nerve Cowboy.

Find more by John Grey in the Author Index.

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