Narrated by Jennifer Crow
Our shadows settle deeper on the world
because of the glow in the sky; ozone haze
sparks our senses, and we gather in whispering knots
where doorways and narrow alleys offer shelter
from that piercing radiance.
Who called these monstrous beings
out of the heavens, who beckoned them
to the fragile surface where mortals
flinch or fight and die grasping at the dust?
Even the ground betrays us now,
motes sparkling under the gods’ glares
and burning, burning our flesh
when we dare step into the light.
Some fool picks up a stone
and flings it into the nearest beam
only to have it return, flaming,
and take the place of his heart.
Our own hearts quail, sink, char
to ash at the sight, and we run
with all the wretched speed of the damned
while all we knew floods with fire
to singe our heels.
BIO: In the past quarter-century, Jennifer Crow’s work has appeared in a number of print and electronic venues, including Asimov’s Science Fiction, Uncanny Magazine, and Kaleidotrope. She also reads slush for the poetry department of Amazing Stories. Always happy to connect with readers, she can be found on Twitter using the handle @writerjencrow.