Black Petals Issue #100 Summer, 2022

Editor's Page
Mars-Chris Friend
BP Artists and Illustrators
Baby, You're the Best: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Darkest Day:Fiction by Richard Brown
They Feed on Light:Fiction by Kilmo
Step Eight: Fiction by Paul Lubaczewski
Reunion:Fiction by Gene Lass
Highwayman's Trousers:Fiction by Michael W. Clark
The Dutiful Hit:Fiction by Jay Flynn
Flight of Fantasy: Fiction by Martin Taulbut
He Asked Me to Do It: Fiction by R. A. Cathcart
Lagniappe: Fiction by Michael Stoll
No Spark, No Flame: Fiction by Hillary Lyon
The Bathroom Light: Fiction by Craig Shay
Dave Jenkins, Flayed: Flash Fiction by Brian Barnett
Beauty Sleep: Flash Fiction by Simeon Care
Head Games: Flash Fiction by Philip Perry
Hurry Home: Flash Fiction by M. L. Fortier
You'll See, She Said: Flash Fiction by Robb White
Captain Yeah-Way: Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Attic Notes: Poem by Michael S. Love
Exit Strategy: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
You Can Pretend: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Gold Star: Poem by C. Renee Kiser
Conflict of Interest: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Recording: Poem by David C. Kopaska-Merkel
Litha: Poem by Christopher Friend
Sleeping Beauty: Poem by Christopher Friend
It Began with Violence: Poem by Donna Dallas
Rocking Zebra Déjà vu: Poem by Donna Dallas
Circle: Poem by Donna Dallas
Love is a Ghost: Poem by Donna Dallas
Together: Poem by A. N. Rose
Silence: Poem by A. N. Rose
Dead at 21: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen
House Centipede: Poem by Daniel G. Snethen

David C. Kopaska-Merkel: Recording



David C. Kopaska-Merkel



Living in a plain white-paper land;

everything used to crawl with life,

beetles rolled balls of dung,

worms curled frantic in my hand,

sand squeezed under my toes.


All of the skin of you,

fragrant, smooth, and hot,

real as stones under my feet,

these muscles, veins, and nerves,

tender skin under my nails.

I remember breezes.


I might be wood, or smoke,

a dream painted on alley walls,

a stain on asphalt,

iridescent black and brown,

tomes in a library,

books and books,

scrimshaw without bone,

above, blue so pale it might be white,

and my body, if I could still feel it,

would be something, just like this.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel, a retired paleontologist, won the 2006 Rhysling award for best long poem (collaboration with Kendall Evans), and edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine (since 1986). He has edited Star*line, an issue of Eye To The Telescope, and several Rhysling anthologies, has served as SFPA president, and is an SFPA Grandmaster. His poems (more than 1200 of them) have been published in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, Mythic Delirium, and more than 200 other venues. Some Disassembly Required, his latest poetry collection, comes out in 2022 from Diminuendo Press. @DavidKM on twitter. Blog:

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