Last Letters

by Sonya Taaffe

Remember me to the men in the harvest—tell them I am alright so far.
        —Harry Lewis Lincoln (August 12, 1914)

Wrote the man in the other harvest, the redder one
that broke a wave of poppies on the century,
the drag of their names
under leather-rotten earth
still churning to the surface ninety-nine years on.
Our heels snag on skull-flints,
our heads on the poet's arcana,
turning up shell-shock and gas-drill
for coins, cups, staves.
Even the paper is soaked with ghosts,
so much silence shoveled under lime.
The children of Troy played Hektor and Achilles
in Apollo's wide-walled streets until they burned.


Sonya Taaffe’s short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), and in anthologies including Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. She is currently senior poetry editor at Strange Horizons; she holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and their two cats.

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