Thursday, July 4, 2024

The Silhouette’s Head at an Angle

Sometimes, just knowing
The genre’s cheating.
If these lines arrived

With your foreknowledge
That this was a ghost
Story, and produced

A corpse of themselves,
Wavering shadows,
You’d be contented,

Expecting hauntings
Around the corner.
But what if you were

Told incorrectly
Or tricked with malice
Aforethought? The corpse

Is from a high-brow
Realist novel
And the shadows stand

As nuanced symbols
Of its character—
Or, this is science

Fiction that you thought
Was a ghost story,
And the corpse is soon

To experience
Life as a machine
Built by aliens

Who look to humans
Like shifting shadows.
How much of meaning,

How much of comfort
While reading dangles
By the neck of genre?

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