by Daniel E. Blackston

Tonight, my dreams of flying on a winged, white bull dissolve to crickets, flies and rain.
Luminous gutters effortlessly heft the stars and moon. I glide into life like a shadow,
pasting myself into cut-off jeans, lured to the rainy window where my face, older and
more scarred than I remember it, blinks back from its four-cornered world.

                      Out of the long,
                      unending sky our bodies
                      fall like raindrops

Through that mug, Phoenicia's Princess rides white stars like dandelions made of light,
and the star-streaked rain on my window blooms with tears I've never cried. Tears for
the breast-less old woman whose woodstove on winter school bus mornings warmed me
with Ozark fire, now a quarter century cold.

                      and we fall toward them:
                      man and woman loving
                      flesh and stars equally

Tears for the homely girl I loved and never told, but dreamed of her bull-like brow, her
braces, and shy, dark eyes rising to find perfect form in the stars' oxbow. Even now,
I lug tears for mothers, fathers, and children I've never met, believing some heart in the
sky thunders compassion, yoking my shame to the stars.

                      baring our breasts to the sky's
                      horns, tumbling toward the garden
                      seeded in our backyard.

Tears for the slow rot on cathedral domes, and the twisted mouths of politicians. In
weeping arms I dream to gather all hurt like a forgiving sky, sending raindrops in alms
for sad, upturned faces. The voice of black dirt sings serious and forgiving, blooded by
sweet rain.

                     Bull horns puncture
                     the night sky
                     to spear our selfish hearts.

Copyright © 2003, Daniel E. Blackston

Daniel Blackston is a poet, speculative fiction writer, and critic at large. His speculative fiction stories have appeared in lively venues such as Talebones, SBD Science Fiction and Fantasy, Fiction Inferno, and IdeomancerUnbound. His poems have appeared in many journals, such as: Hiram Poetry Review, The Santa Barbara Review, Hidden Oak, Harp Strings Poetry Journal, Mid-American Review, Poetry Depth Quarterly, and others. When he's not writing, he enjoys playing folk guitar and tournament chess. You can read his bi-weekly column of short speculative fiction reviews, Firebrand Fiction Reviews, at sfreader.com, where he serves as Managing Editor. Daniel is also the Senior Speculative Fiction Editor for Futures Mysterious Anthology Magazine and writes a column, "The Prose Detective", for the FMAM website. He is married and has two children: a stepson, Dylan, and a new daughter, Emily Mae.

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