We used to skip stones by Brian Hugenbruch

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            A Golden Shovel after ‘Kubla Khan’
            by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Humanity was so much smarter then.
There was a time we thought we’d reached
the sapphire soul of our society. The
stars were skipping stones to heaven; lunar caverns
our playgrounds. The gains we made were measureless.
And yet, to leave behind the cradle was to
redefine the nature of woman, man,
and child from dreamers, planet-bound and
hungry, to jaded basket-cases masked in plastic. We sank
ourselves into our mighty works. We mapped the stars in
every angle ‘til there was no more tumult
left within the universe. What existence is it, then, to
have every answer and dream ascribed before a
question can be asked? Godlike and lifeless,
we drown ourselves beneath a voiceless ocean.

[Editor’s Note: See Kubla Khan: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/43991/kubla-khan]

BIO: Brian Hugenbruch is a speculative fiction writer and poet living in Upstate New York with his family and their pets. By day, he writes information security programs to protect your data on (and from) the internet. His poetry has been featured (or is forthcoming) in Apparition Lit, Abyss & Apex, Penumbric, Eye to the Telescope, and Gleam. No, he’s not sure how to say his last name, either.