If you’ve heard the stellar vox humana
the untuned ear takes for static,
if you’ve kissed the burning eyelids
of god and seized upon the moon’s
reflection, disjointed and backwards,
in the choppy ink of some alien sea,
then you know how sleek and fleshy,
how treacherous, the stars can become.
While the universe falls with no boundary,
you and I sit in a cafe of a port city
on a planet whose name we’ve forgotten:
the vacuum is behind us and before us,
the spiced ale is cool and hallucinogenic.
Already the candle sparkles in our plates.
(First appeared in Asimov’s SF Magazine, April 1984, Rhysling Award 1985)
Bruce Boston lives in Ocala, Florida, with his wife, writer-artist Marge Simon, and the ghosts of two cats. He is the author of fifty books and chapbooks, including the novels The Guardener’s Tale and Stained Glass Rain. His writing has appeared in countless publications, most visibly in Asimov’s SF Magazine, Amazing Stories, Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Daily Science Fiction, Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, and The Nebula Awards Showcase. One of the leading genre poets for more than a quarter century, Boston has won the Bram Stoker Award for Poetry, the Asimov’s Readers Award, and the Rhysling Award (SFPA), each a record number of times. He has also received a Pushcart Prize for fiction and the Grandmaster Award of the SFPA. He will be Poet Guest of Honor at the 2013 Bram Stoker Awards/World Horror Con to be held in New Orleans. For more information visit www.bruceboston.com.