After Star Trek: The Inner Light

In  by May 20, 2022
A ll this I saw: 
the light you preserved 
within after the destruction 
of your world, 

the slow resurgence 
afterwards 
in the wandering domes 
caressing the new ocean. 

Black shadows, artificial suns 
—reviving the dry riverbeds  
rising from beneath 
mycelial networks:

                  gaia
                  gayatri
                  sentient
                  earth. 
 
Once you hammered and poured
—molten skeletons, megastructures.   
Shiva’s children or a shaman’s 
dying curse— 

I do not know what form 
you will take this time 
as I radiate and transform
with each mutation. 

                  We hold onto each other 
                  like fresh stitches 
                  on old wounds. 
                  As we heal, 
                  we bond;
                  become 
                  untraceable:
                  one.

In the cold distance a new sun rises.  
Know this: you’ll survive; 
you’ll learn to laugh 
like a child again. 

On abandoned ports, you’ll share 
hot tea and biscuits, 
conspiring in nonstandard Imperial 
to save dying worlds:

one wildlife at a time; 
one tree, one river, 
one coral reef, 
one jungle. 

Once She held you to her breasts.
Now you carry her 
in your bones and flesh
—forgiving, forgiven.

Copyright © 2022 Salik Shah

Feature image credit:

Depositphotos

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Salik Shah

Salik Shah is a writer, filmmaker, and the founding editor of Mithila Review, the journal of international science fiction and fantasy (2015-). His work has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Strange Horizons, Tor.comand The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Volume 2).

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