By F.J. Bergmann

Their hives were castles of yellow sulfur;

their language, a barrage of white noise.

Even their house pets had wheeled feet

or huge faceted eyes the color of moons

rising on our homeworld. Their excreta

glowed in the dark, illuminating convoys

of nocturnal harvest workers and trade

caravans. They still refused to cross

desiccated lowlands where ancient seas

had once swarmed with carnivores

whose monstrous forms were depicted

in the underground temples. In near-

darkness the nervous lamps cast light

upward on thousands of immense replicas

of those extinct creatures, suspended

in eternal twilight. Sometimes the hollow,

lacy shells of golden wire appeared to be

nothing more than ravenous mouths.

We asked, Why worship what harmed you?


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