Aphelion Issue 291, Volume 28
February 2024
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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An Explorer Out There Somewhere

by John Grey

The distance
would erase your name
if living was the blackboard
and the dark of space
a thick, damp cloth.
It would peel your years
away from you one by one,
with its scattered lights,
its obscure gases,
its worlds of soulless mineral.
Your surroundings would be easy,
a meteor shower here,
a blast of heat there,
a quick crumple,
a brief exposure to the void,
and you’d be dust.
Even your dust would be dust.
But distance isn’t like that.
For all its vast indifference,
it seems to welcome you.
Who you are
is the best it’s had in years.
How you’ve lived
is what it would wish
for its atmospheres, its planets.
Sure it knows you’re
a fragile package
but it succors you
for all its dangers.
It offers a feast of
what you didn’t know before.
It seems to understand
that ignorance is your true hunger

© 2012 John Grey

John Grey has been published recently in the Talking River, Santa Fe Poetry Review and Caveat Lector with work upcoming in Clark Street Review, Poem and the Evansville Review.

Find more by John Grey in the Author Index.

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