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  • Writer's pictureWilliam I. Atkinson

Night Sky: Liftoff

To pause at the lip of this voiceless place To wait at the brink of this frozen dream And feel its dead breath seep through waiting space And know its kiss would swallow every scream –

It is like death. Deep-buried in this crypt Must stalk black wonders beggaring belief: Thin mandibles of chitin that have sipped The blood of innocents; whose name is grief.

Here, waiting to be sent among such powers I lie, a plastic-clad ambassador Who frets, and sweats, and blinks, and counts the hours Till contacts kiss, till nozzles howl and roar.

I have one comfort. Nothing in that sky Is half so cruel, so terrible as I.

From The Elven Lands by William Illsey Atkinson.

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