Reverse Burn

by Samantha Henderson & Kendall Evans

(after Frankenstein, Edison Studios, 1910:)

Burn me to life
In your fires of creation
Melt me to flesh
In your scalded image
I will be born
Of your hot desires

This is the age of celluloid and electricity
Tamed to copper coils, of light
So bright the gods wince and shield
Their weeping eyes, of sound
Bound to wax and wire and carried
To any common ear

Did Tesla’s lightning
Jolt my graveyard heart
To life?
I’ve wept
Seeking revenant memories
Within my robbered brain

This is the dawn of disembodied sound
of shadow phantoms, sepia girls
dancing like Babylon, of God’s
own Zeppelin, moon high
& cannon-shot rockets piercing the lunar eye

Burn me to life
In your crucible
Fire my flesh
The worm-spark burrows,
Transforms me with pain
I am the clay in your kiln

More than 250 poems by Kendall Evans have appeared in various science fiction, fantasy, and horror magazines. His poetry chapbooks include POETRY RED SHIFTED IN THE EYES OFDRAGON and IN DEEPSPACE SHADOWS. He is also the author of the novelette “Don Huavaca’s Dia De Los Muertos” and a novel-length science fiction Ring Cycle, THE RINGS OF GANYMEDE, which consists of four linked dramatic poems.

Samantha Henderson’s short fiction and poetry have been published in Realms of Fantasy, Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit and Weird Tales, the anthologies Running with the Pack and Fantasy, and reprinted in The Year’s Best Fantasy and Science Fiction, Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, and the upcoming Mammoth Book of Steampunk. She is the author of the Forgotten Realms novel Dawnbringer.

Kendall and Samantha’s collaborative poem, “In the Astronaut Asylum,” was the winner of the 2010 Rhysling Award for long-form poetry. 

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