“Beneath the Palace Dictionary the Last Evil Mars Moth Sleeps” by Mari Ness
They know better
than to shift the book—
though no one tells them why.
Still. It must be cleaned, dusted—
this is a palace after all,
with standards to maintain.
The lightest, cleanest feather brush—
a push of air from a scented fan—
They slip softly from the room.
The moth hears their steps,
twitches uneasily, dreams
the sand is dry
their deaths beneath his outstretched legs
as he hungers for their blood,
we have turned the planet red
dreams them lying beneath all of his kin
the moths who will never fly again.
how long can that one
remain blue and green
A child slips into the room
I hold you in my net
darts beneath the book.
The net is weak
The insect there—
Time to release those wings.
|Mari Ness worships chocolate, words, and music, in no particular order. Her work has previously appeared in Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Uncanny, Nightmare, Apex, and Fireside, and her poetry novella, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, is available from Papaveria Press. For more, visit her website at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at mari_ness.|