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.


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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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