By Rebecca Lu Kiernan
The feathery cobalt grass is gone
And the tangerine-violet swirl of sky.
The platinum lake behind our hexagon home
Stands silent, vacant, alone.
The alien will come tonight.
I will walk into his unanswerable light,
Surrender to the hum of his sleek machine.
He will put his slick grey hands to my forgiven face,
Remove every delicious trace
Of my experiment with you,
Return to me
As I wait, I draft this letter
Hoping the other angels won't mind
Long after logic and psychiatrists assure you
I must have been
A buttercream dream,
You will know you were held sacred
By an unknowable creature
Seven thousand light years away, unreachable.
If this changes history
We can arrange small repairs.
Surely I cannot be held accountable
For some impulsive act I committed
When the pageantry of my mind
Was trapped in human form
And drugged with the brain chemicals
Of what you monkeys call love.
The Lover dreams of the Goddess
Even as the bright tangle of Her
Repositions in his arms.
Nightmare, his undercovergirl
Designs a house for another world
Constructed of surgical grade diamonds
From the Soviet asteroid.
Terraformers are meeting
Her basic needs
Of gravity, oxygen, water,
Her demands of picnic weather,
Hybrid wolfkiss orchids,
She can order eclipses from the menu.
He curses her for giving him
The physics of prophecy.
Will his name cross her lips
When they are fractured by stars?
He fears she will clone him,
A designer gene, fetish-free
Version of him
With dog-like obedience,
A catly self sufficiency.
She will implant
A greater range of octaves in his voice.
She will give his clone
His violet stage jeans, fishnet shirts,
Multicolored clove scented scarves,
His Breedlove American Series guitar.
He will track him down and kill him!
The grandfather paradox
Is a time-travel snag,
No law against the killing of clones.
The Goddess dreams of the Lover,
The new and improved one coming soon.
She swings in her sleep
To the terrestrial trapeze
Biting her lip and counting
How many pendulums
Until she must denounce one world
And hurl into the next.
Gifts from Scientists
For the velociraptor you cloned me for Christmas
And the unbreachable hex translation
Of blueprints for other-world devices.
For the cigar box
Of artfully arranged broken birds
And the rainbow glitter you glued
To their gently twitching feathers.
The extinction level event asteroid
And naming it after me!
When you pushed my eye into the telescope
I could have sworn
You were giving me a star.
For the broken birds,
Instead of the merciless words,
A cross from which
I could never have climbed down
An Affair with Time
He is a three-legged
Down a cobblestone street,
Wolf without a collar.
Thorax crushed, his howl
Is an unbearable airy whistle.
One cobalt eye
Dangles loose from its socket.
Has not harmed his mind.
He summons her cognac hair
Sweeping against his face
In every indelible embrace.
He recalls her address and phone,
The quick way she undresses
When she thinks she is alone
As opposed to her slow theatrical tease.
He eats garbage and the irony of roadkill,
Lives in a moldy cardboard box
Beneath the bridge.
His heart is seven years of anesthesia.
The moon winks like suicide.
He creeps in clumsy silence
To the window of her dreams.
She sleeps in a perfect tangle with her lover.
He turns his broken face away,
Struggles to catch his breath,
Imagining he will recover,
Scratch at her door in the light of day.
Wolf without a collar,
Guest in her kaleidoscopic house.
She will love him just like new.
He will trust her
Not to Hit-and-Run him
As she will Always do.
Mars has already made her secret adjustment
V838 Mon's light echo has confessed.
Neptune is trying to hold still
Against Nibiru's muscular fingers.
Who will teach you to breathe gold?
Classified math behind platinum walls
Slices time, cells, codes.
Three days of suspended rotation
Will not stop clocks
Or hands peeling petals with questions.
Will you admit I exist?
Will you turn
To God or scientists?
Will you pluck the withered flower
From the final field
To learn, my Darling,
You were simply on my fixed trajectory
And I loved you, loved you not?
The Case Against Chaos
We were promised
Trick candles and red velvet cake,
Champagne in cave-crystal flutes.
You wore a Tom Ford tuxedo in abyss blue.
My transparent gown of glitter
Made promises the night could not keep.
Giant screens showed a split-screen view
Of asteroid and missile.
Bach filled the silence.
No one will ever know
What ruined the math.
In a flash,
Our skeletons fused in cognizant embrace.
Had I more time,
I like to think I would have told you,
Nothing of me was true
And I destroyed every universe
In which we would not meet
Just to spend these seven years
Entangled with you.
An Interview Without Coffee
Some responsible creature
Who could break the brain chemical trance
Induced by our brand of copulation
Should detach and close the window
Against the apricot stream of sun,
Tango of cut-grass breeze
Twirling French lace curtains
High and wide.
We have trespassed into the unaccountable.
Apocalyptic climax after climax,
I am so emblazoned with you,
I am beyond you,
Hunting you again.
I have kicked
Out from under you.
I have juggled rain and fire
With such calculation
And informational eclipse
That one does not know
The other exists,
Just to meet you at 3 A.M.'s
And between sets,
To vibrate against your voice,
Melt into the hum of you.
My feet trample the headboard.
Stalks by our window
Slower this time.
You turn me sideways
So you can see bounce.
My briefcase is full of science
To stop the ending of time
And I am hours late
For the perfect crime.
If tomorrow comes
I am sure to have
An interview without coffee.