Being Providence

You could never have slept
in my shipwrecked bed,
sea-sounding with your wife’s name
and New England no older in my blood
than the blizzard winter my father walked
like Balto over the snowdrifts
between Harvard and Beacon Hill
not quite three years before me,
more than forty after you.
A fishing float hangs in my window,
turning sunlight the green of salt marshes
and cemetery shade.
We could only have drowned
in film-light, flickering silverily
like the ages of stars against an astronomer’s eye,
the dead past still shining, luring us on
into the dark neither of our hands can cross.

Sonya Taaffe’s short stories and poems have appeared in such venues as Beyond Binary: Genderqueer and Sexually Fluid Speculative Fiction, The Moment of Change: An Anthology of Feminist Speculative Poetry, Here, We Cross: A Collection of Queer and Genderfluid Poetry from Stone Telling, People of the Book: A Decade of Jewish Science Fiction & Fantasy, Last Drink Bird Head, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, The Alchemy of Stars: Rhysling Award Winners Showcase, and The Best of Not One of Us. Her work can be found in the collections Postcards from the Province of Hyphens and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books) and A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press). She is currently on the editorial staff of Strange Horizons; she holds master’s degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object.