by Chloe N. Clark

Mother says remember
she says the Earth was once an hourglass
and we kept turning and turning
it until its shape twisted,
formed something strange

Mother says be witness,
as she plaits our hair, she says
spread these stories out into the wilds
of planets far beyond the stars we
know, the ones we name easily

Mother says dream deep,
taste the edges of the rivers
that no longer run, their bodies thick with sludge, mouths
coughing up refuse

Mother says honor the dead
but don’t be lost in them,
those birds whose skeletons
spread across shores, those
landscapes left wanting

Mother says push
forward, promise to keep
moving, seeking, dreaming,
imagine that there is something
left that we have to give

Previously published in Sunvault: Stories of Solarpunk and Eco-Speculation (2017). Reprinted with permission.

About the Author

Chloe N. Clark is an author of poetry and fiction, with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing and Environment. Her works have appeared in publications such as Abyss & Apex, Midwestern Gothic, Sleet, and others. She is also the founding co-editor-in-chief of Cotton Xenomorph, an online literary journal. Her website is https://www.chloenclark.com/.

Fiction, Volume 2 Issue 1