“Hockey Night in Canis Major” by Gretchen Tessmer

it’s not so bad—
the cold of deep space, I mean

good Lord
north of the 45th was never
a warm-and-fuzzy place

but interstellar dust clouds
certainly cut visibility
and frostbite’s always a danger
when skating on the edge of outer planetary rings

where the temps are something like…
-203 Celsius? for God’s sake
that seems excessive
even measured in Kelvins

and the amount of black ice
or rather, super-massive black holes
around this place, sheesh

just divots in the rink, they tell me

but still, a Zamboni would be nice
to smooth out the vast tracts of


(oh, there’s still a lot of emptiness and homesickness and…)

but anything for the play, you know?

the hollow sound of a puck being struck
against a chord in space

it echoes, same as always:

at the good old hockey game

Gretchen Tessmer is a writer based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands. She writes both short fiction and poetry, with work appearing in such venues as Nature, Strange Horizons, Cast of Wonders, Daily Science Fiction and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, as well as previous appearances in Kaleidotrope.