Big Echo

Critical SF

The Terraformer’s Swan Song

by Michael Díaz Feito

The weapons in our house’s thalassic light
aren’t tools for utility but the fruits of love.
There’s something between us, isn’t there?
A broken limb of lapsed fire, happy to be
obsolete, like that shroud in the sepulcher.
Meet us again, unseen, on the rocky shore.

Inter-tides there’s a talc pool on that shore,
a craggy bowl, a collapse of nervous light.
It’s a place of potential, our holy sepulcher
greased by algal blooms. Foamy sea, love-
drunk, fills this pit where we’ll dunk or be
drowned, sun-bleached rags, sinking there.

Maybe a pothole once in a past road there
unfunded, death rubble-birthing the shore
to lay a chthonic carpet for your flood (be
sure we “maybe” to comfort, like sunlight
singes your skin, the red shift of new love),
but now it’s just that gray-green sepulcher

of change. A dark power word—sepulcher,
ugly to repeat, desirable. Pulchritude there.
Pencil it in sand, or put anything you love.
Talk isn’t so corpse-stiff on the other shore.
We aren’t leaving, only scraping with light
for ablution, crystallizing the salt that’ll be

your next shape, not a pillar, a pinch-to-be;
look back if you want, then. The sepulcher
is sealed by the returning tide. A weak light
washes above, the wet spectral glow there
of plankton. Dusk on the weaponized shore
launches the pleuston-thought, or the love

that’ll dimple rising waves, a drowsy love
to drift, striding empty troughs of surf. Be
apophatic about it: we’re no worse inshore,
and nowhere’s not already in the sepulcher.
Don’t flee the melisma of a last sigh there,
the endless penultimate in dwindling light.

The shore expects. Our house, the sepulcher
to be unearthed by divining rod, leaks there.
Let’s feed the cache of love. Douse the light.


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