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Fiction by Daniel Dykiel

An Unspooling of Glass Selvage

In deep dreams sink the crater-lake that doesn’t drown. The us that sinks is Gregor Valentine.

He falls cylindrically, space darker than space. He bounces gently off the bottom & in the ribbons of dust that rise the roof of his house clinches wet.

A silk-stuffed-silence booming broken only by the crackling of sucked-in ice from the surface. Slipped past the core into infinity and only felt colder. What strange seam.

In the moments before the sky-shield he dissects technicolor. Radio waves waving gently through transparent sky, spewing iridescence. Amanda-Almond would crouch in the dark plasma lapping up her split-knife ankles. Listening to the gentle folds of her younger sister’s voice. In the refractions of the sunlight she could send no reply.

On the surface they collapse. Suck oxygen through long pink straws before the delicate drip-dyed bubbles pop. Under the surface lives a man named Gregor Valentine. Through his lungs we do not die.

In the dark water with the moon dissected and the sky-shield opaque. Ghost-stone, he sinks and stops. The house moves unshakably, so subtly it tricks him. House-shell stands still in empty accusation.

In the spore-sea turned solid he still sinks. Liquid human he still sinks. Turned cold-indented foam but he still sinks. In the place between the world he still sinks. The humans pop his bubbles and suck up velvet teeth. Through his lungs the soft choke. Through his lungs we still live.

The last radio-wave blitzed unholy. Amanda-Almond scavenged with scrum-stinted fingernails. She tore strips from our throat as we slept. This is how we remember it now.

In the sublimation of the earth we mine our strange metal. In the lungs of Gregor Valentine we dream, dream, dream.

Daniel Dykiel

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