Always Packing

by Alex Dally MacFarlane

The market is always packing:
the paint peels, ready to go,
from spires and towers and bridges
that whisper leaves in their wake,
pale as unpainted dolls.
Thank you, the man says,
folding money with prices, 100, 500.
The palaces are tidied away.
Fox-fur barks at the gates,
at the wind
that blows visitors inside: quick shopping
as the men begin to wheel the market away.
Yet it remains, packing,
when dawn lands on the dolls every day
like a buyer's hand.


Alex Dally MacFarlane lives in London, where she is working on a MA in Ancient History. When not researching ancient gender and narratives, she writes stories, found in Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Shimmer and The Other Half of the Sky. Poetry can be found in Stone Telling, Goblin Fruit, The Moment of Change and Here, We Cross. She is the editor of Aliens: Recent Encounters (2013) and The Mammoth Book of SF Stories by Women (forthcoming in late 2014). Visit her online at

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