“Perihelion” by A’liya Spinner

Previously published by Fifth Wheel Press.

five lifetimes from the womb-world
that bore and raised you
under the wilting red sky
that glows with three suns
and vanishes behind the obsidian hills
on those few sixty-seven hour days
when it isn’t raining glass
here— of all places—
where the universe
could not be any more raw
or beautiful
your chest still aches
like a yawning cavern
and while I am not
as shiny as the diamond dust
that hangs as gravid fog
over the meadows of clay and iron
my hand fits perfectly in yours
and while our skin cannot touch
through the layers of our spacesuits
our bodies still interlock
here— of all places—
where the sunslight could not be
any more golden
or beautiful
all I can see are your gentle eyes
glittering like glass rain


A’liya Spinner (She/he)
A’liya Spinner is a non-binary writer and researcher. While he aspires to a glamorous career in paleogenetics, he currently specializes in poison dart frog color mechanisms and evolution. In her spare time, she writes up queer tidbits for the magpie gods. Most importantly, her favorite dinosaur is Allosaurus fragilis. Talk to him at her Twitter, @cladist_magpie.