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by Oliver Smith

(This poem is best viewed on a PC)

She is planet-bound, thirsting

against the gravity well,

hungry for other worlds.

The air intake of a wind tunnel huffs

among the abandoned airframes,

like a broken mind, a lonely

starship crying for her pilot.

The dead machines stay silent—hollow faces

of newly inanimate silicon and steel

frozen in thousand-framed poses on stages

of papier-mâché, two by one, plaster, and tinfoil.

An actress in silver rises from the corpse of the future;

Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted. She rolls across

the endless green-baize runways, dodging

brambles and fissures. She might remain

immaculate while others fade and rot

beneath their bricks and small ambitions.

The unforgotten light of abandoned spaces;

concrete and obsolete hardware green with moss

all grown with lichen as if they were fallen

logs among the briars.

She could stretch out her hand and pluck

a star from the faux-velvet sky; its circuits

shedding shards of shattered fire

as she crushes it down

to a point of infinite density.

Oliver Smith is a visual artist and writer from Cheltenham, UK. He is inspired by Tristan Tzara, J. G. Ballard, and Max Ernst; by the poetry of chance encounters; by frenzied rocks towering above the silent swamp; by unlikely collisions between place and myth and memory. His poetry has been published in Abyss & Apex, Ink, Sweat, and Tears, Strange Horizons, Sylvia Magazine, and has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. He holds a PhD in Literary and Critical Studies from the University of Gloucestershire.

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