A body that is bold to come
by Rose Lemberg
for Alex Dally MacFarlane
She weaves a forest out of darkness. Out of black, her twig-wary steps unshine the city into breath. Between these never-dim buildings, the fox leaves crumbs of darkness in the streets that know only its absence. This city is the library of despair, a thousand volumes declared lost, annotated with fluorescence and neon. She longs for a city with gentler pages — foxed paper and night- ripened ink, the truth the stars are folded into, that speaks forgetfully between the uncombed branches of the sky. But if the fox is the city, Then each night is stolen from her, choked in a snare of garish wire. The voice of the sky gurgles. Throttled. She can still flee into the corners of old bookstores, if we bring ink on our fingers, feed the night's breath to her before the bookstores go. When letters erase themselves from the pages that once held them, we won't find shelter in this deceitful glare. Can we survive these lives that never sleep, become the guardians of her city, weave a library from the branches in between the silences that nurtured us? It's then she'll leap into our hearts.
Rose Lemberg is an academic and an immigrant from three countries. Her short fiction and award-winning poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Fantasy Magazine, Apex, Goblin Fruit, Jabberwocky, and other venues. She is the founder and co-editor of Stone Telling, a magazine of boundary-crossing poetry, and the editor of The Moment of Change, a feminist poetry anthology from Aqueduct Press (2012). Unfortunately, she has been eaten by her novel-in-progress. You can find what remains at her website and livejournal blog.
When asked her opinion on the outcome of a poetic cage match between Sappho and Shakespeare, she replied as follows: "I am not sure about Sappho and Shakespeare; I'd much rather attend a poetic duel between Marina Tsvetaeva and Egill Skallagrímsson. Neither would win, as the world would spontaneously combust a few hours into the match (but it would still be worth it)."
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