Previously on Darklight: a traveller, the Ibid Bird, and a railway guard, set out for the Inverse Realms, where time ostensibly runs backwards. The traveller would like to find Selena, but on the way, there may be triffids. The first episode is here.
The journey to the Realms meandered
through pointless snippets of conversation,
without a cup of coffee or a saving grace.
Three café explorations.
“Reality serves at memory’s pleasure,”
something I read somewhere.
I have a tattoo with the very same words.
Quite the coincidence.
At the Café Économique,
they serve one class of patron,
one strength of resteamed coffee grounds,
a minor bird is hopping on a plastic olive branch
and a mangy city cat is watching.
I’m seated at a likeness of a table
reading faded scrawls on a communal
After parts three, two, one, a flashback to the home of the crayfish on their reformed moon.
We live in a concrete paradise,
we must show the galaxy,
attract discerning tourists
and credit cards.
Chalcedony, a distant and unfriendly planet,
orbits an old-fashioned chartreuse sun
in an unsociable spiral galaxy.
It’s a centimeter or two away from earth
on a standard map of the universe,
In a café on the planet’s surface,
it’s Monday morning, neither late nor early,
and Manique, of humanoid appearance,
is sipping a humanoid coffee.
Once on a quiet night, I joined a busload
of marsupials and monotremes on tour,
even an emu or two, and we
traveled through the window down
an invisible road to Isvénia.
Where rivers of sand once ran beneath the sea,
I saw an endless room, domesticated white goods,
infinity cubed in rows and shelves and aisles.
And in the concrete fields outside,
Audis stacked eight stories high,
driving gloves in leatherette that clawed
out of the ground,
keen to leave the parking down below.