By Lucy A. Snyder

The baseheads call me Daddy Luzz like I'm fly.

I was my momma's first, a cream-faced baby boy.

Pops thought I was ace, raised me like a king,

named me for the light of the Las Vegas sun.

Or maybe pale Lucifer. No one would know

to see me now: sun burnt my skin as dark as Coke.

In college, I gene-spliced corn to make cocaine.

With a chemistry book in my hand, I could fly.

I wish I'd made Christian use of what I know,

but like Momma said, "Folly, thy name be Boy."

She hoped I'd be a NASA man blazing past the sun,

but my Supernaut Jiffypop made me campus king.

It's a crackbrain thing to think you're king;

I tossed around cash from frankenstein coke

and party girls loved me like God's risen son.

But I was just a buzzing mosquito, a robber fly

sucking profit from the uptown mobster boys

who lectured me with fists and guns. I knew

to blow to cowtowns where I wasn't known.

Spit-quick, I found hilljack saviors: Mr. King

and Passie Fay made me their moonshine boy,

kept me copsafe while I cropped up their coke.

For a while, life was stingless as a butterfly.

I took a woman, built my manor in the sun.

My wife stroked out giving birth to our son.

When I held bawling Russ, in my gut I knew

it was time to get real, get straight, time to fly.

That wasn't The Man's pharming plan. Ol' King

flared hot as a blast furnace combusting coke

when I asked if I could stop. He said, "Boy,

I'll throw you to the narcs; they'll bury your boy

in the county home while you bust rocks in the sun."

So. I've plotted our route while I plow out the coke.

I found a broken-down turboprop in a barn. I know

more than chemistry and genes: engineering's king.

With parts and practice, my boy and I can fly.

I've got to keep my son safe; I've got to quit this coke.

Russ thinks he'll be Sky King; boy's gotta watch the sun,

fly for the sea, get free of this mazed-up life I've known.

Lucy A. Snyder is the author of Sparks and Shadows. She studied to become a biologist, trained to become a journalist, and now provides tech support for a very large university. Her work has appeared in publications such as Farthing, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, The Greenwood Encyclopedia of Science Fiction and Fantasy, and Masques V; you can also find her in our archives.