Rich & Strange

By Ann K. Schwader

When they come back from the stars, we will not know them.

Dark seas have washed their faces clean of love

Or loss or fear, past earthly comprehension.

Their bones are coldsleep coral now, eroded

By slowly dreaming centuries, & light

From dying stars our skies have long forgotten

Still lingers in the black pearls of their eyes.

When they come back from the stars, we will not know them.

Their tongues have twisted comets out of thought

& forged new orbits for the myths we made

By fading firelight in the caves of winter.

Sun-winds send siren gusts like tides beneath

Their words, between their syncopated hearts

Forgetting—then remembering—to beat.

When they come back from the stars, they will not know us

Except as footprints on some night-drowned beach

They walked as children, pining even then

For oceans gravity did not command

Nor pitted satellites predict. Our voices

Cry little more than silence to their senses

Distanced forever by something rich & strange.

Ann K. Schwader lives and writes in Westminster, CO. Her work has recently appeared in Dreams & Nightmares, Iambs & Trochees, Mythic Delirium, and elsewhere. See more of her work on her website: