By C.S.E. Cooney                                                                                                                                 Rhysling Award 3rd Place “Short Poem”

All the men I might have loved
Have gone to Sirius

Sirius, the Dogstar
The Dreadstar of Summer
That Cranberry Bog, that Red Lamp District
Promising Scarlet Women, Scarlet Waves of Grain
A Wine-Stained Sea

My lovely men are gone
Leaving their braids behind them

They have left their braids
But have taken the veins of their wrists
Their bony faces and transparent fingers
Their cigarettes
Even the moist taunt of their throats
They have stolen away
Forsaking everything
To be happy on Sirius

O Sirius, your houses are made
Of bougainvillea leaves
Your rain is pink and balsamic
There is bloodsoup to eat, and dragons
And everyone is a surgeon

Like Magellan before them
My men have circumnavigated mystery
Without me

More from C.S.E. Cooney:

C.S.E. Cooney lives in a garret like a real writer, only she calls it an “aerie” because she mostly writes fantasy. Her stories and poems have been published by Subterranean Press, Ideomancer, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, and Clockwork Phoenix 3 . Occasionally, a brave theatre company in Chicago or St. Louis (and once, Taiwan) will produce one of her plays, which serves her right for moonlighting as a critic for Centerstage Chicago. Ms. Cooney has work forthcoming in issues of Black Gate Magazine, Strange Horizons and Pseudopod.

1 Comment

  1. What a beautiful, poignant poem. I love the image of the braids left behind in search of the pink/red happiness on faraway Sirius.


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