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
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.com, and The Gollancz Book of South Asian Science Fiction (Volume 2).