Strike a Light

by Sonya Taaffe


for Toby Jones

Come out, small haunting of the Surrey hills,
I can hear you breathing
in the dark behind the stone.
Where others rattle chains,
you trail the echo
of smashed marrows and weeping melons,
a tungsten-filament UFO
floating by grace of candlelight.
Your cardigan unbuttons
a chest of hacked cabbage leaves,
scalped radishes and fat splatters
falling from your shirtsleeves.
You dream of sunlit grasses and library tones,
but the shadow at your shoulder
splits white as a projector's gate.
For what I can see through it,
I will not play you again.

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Sonya Taaffe's short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press), A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and in various anthologies including The Humanity of Monsters, Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, and Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror. 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 two cats.

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