New porridge old toast

“You’re still young” they say


“You’re young”

That’s how I know

I am older than I should have been

When you left  me


Canned response

Ulendra, there is something

I must speak with

The Captain

Observe the protocols;

There is nothing for 40 lightyears

And so the Captain is not

To be disturbed

He will like to hear this, I know

Only overlook my going and

Humour your fellow cosmonaut

On this ship, I estimate

83 per cent of human honesty is met

With lack of self-knowledge

Disguised as humour

Ulendra, you are being

Tiresome, the most

Contrary being for parsecs

So you have said before

But patience is not rewarded,

Nor help at the end of patience

So turn around

I’ll speak to the Captain


You realize that, don’t you

Perfectly. And I see that

My resilience will outlast yours

For the stars of Andromeda

Heed no passing meteors

At the Brink of Time

Where infinity fades fuzzy

As an impressionist’s paintbrush

And time wrestles with gravity

To pull us off into the dusk

Our longings will be nothing

Nor paralysis of choice

But birds to catch unerring

Familiar fleets to be rejoined

We will sample secret pleasures

And journey where we never spoke

Carve bowsprits from feathers

In between the brushstrokes

And I will hoard your laughter

Your warm, admiring eye

Before the canvas darkens

And at last I say goodbye


Her nails were pine green to match her dress, and she knew that he was looking at them. She didn’t usually paint her fingernails. Even looking away, at this point, could be a provocation.

She looked away anyways. She wished that they were stranded deep in a forest in winter, snow creeping hot then wet then blisteringly cold up from her ankles.

Somehow, for him to actually lift up one of her hands – fingertips under fingertips – was the last thing she expected.

“Did you paint them just for the party?”

It was crowded, the sour haze of alcohol, and they were standing in their own little pocket by the sink. A window flung wide open, a searing January wind. That was what she needed. Her hand shot backward to hide between her skirt and the counter.

She could not do anything about the hand holding her glass, however.


Island mountain sea

Image result for ocean at night with stars

Follow me down inside the island

Where the emerald will burst open

Galaxies pulsing unfolding

Setting Earth above a mountain

Trees at the bottom of the sea

Drag me down inside the mountain

Living lightly and rushing loving

Down cave streams to the island

Spinning stars in that rock ceiling

Reflection on a forever sea

Image from gerald flock


She leaned into him with the side of her face pressed to his breast, and breathed carefully. He was still as magnificent as when they had met, all elegant features and perfectly placed hands, skin translucent like the sheen on a pearl. Rich mahogany locks fell past her eyes and she was jealous, a jealousy that burned straight down to her will to live – only to crumble into love.

“I was so ashamed, at first, when I couldn’t stop looking at you. Because I thought that you would never look at me.” She has told him this before.

He touched her shoulder, very tenderly, since that was the spot that felt cold at the moment. She wondered again about their children. Long gone, scattered pieces of their hearts – what was it about the half-elves that always made them go?

“You will have others after me,” she whispered, knowing it because it hurt. “Others, in other lives, because in your one life you have many lives when compared to me.”

His nose was near her hair and his lashes were lowered for he looked only at her. But because his eyes walked a different stream of time, he saw her as she had been when they met, he saw her as she was now, and he saw her as she would be in the grave. She was multifaceted and trembling and precious. He pressed his mouth to the top of her head and she couldn’t stop the tear that squeezed out.

“Normally,” she whispered, “normally we die knowing that the ones across from us are just gone, or are not far away. But I don’t have that with you. And you will have others.”

He was not like her, this was true. After a while he lifted his mouth, shifting to stroke her greyed hair with graceful fingers, and he told her that she did not understand. He would not have another.

And by his saying she did not understand she then understood. They went quiet, in waiting.


Elizabeth Cook, 2015