by Tari Gwaemir
"Man or astroman."
Look, a wasteland. Not flat or featureless, but sharp and violent, a harsh poetry gouged in rock and sand. Cliffs and canyons, shifting mountains--it is not still or silent, this dead, deserted place. At nights, the wind strums across the dunes in a high, keening pitch; you sense it not so much by ear but by the humming of your bones. This place recognizes you as a dissonance and attempts to dissect you into harmonic pieces. It knows you are alien.
And who are you to argue? You are a collection of scars masquerading in human form; even your arm is not your own. Above you the mercilessly clear desert sky, the wounded face of the giant moon that glares at you for the gaping scar upon its face. You cannot sleep under such a moon, under such a sky, for they are all reproaches for your failure to keep your promises, reminders of your distorted self.
Ah, but what is faith? he asks, from where he stands behind you. What is hope? We love in spite of everything, we love until it destroys us.