By F.J. Bergmann


Their atmosphere was thick, a bisque
of fog. They would not believe we came
from space; they held that nothing existed
beyond the omnipresent, lowering clouds
except heaven. To them, cankerous scars
and burnt oxides on the hull were proof:
our ship had come out of the molten core
of the planet, emerging from a volcano
or one of the bottomless magma abysses
prophesied to glow under the everlasting
polar nights. When we described stars,
their puzzled expressions were painful
for us to watch as they creakily unwound
their toroidal coils into open question
marks facing toward a blank gray ceiling,
the end of their world just overhead.

F.J. Bergmann

F.J. Bergmann reads, writes, and edits speculative fiction, poetry, and what falls between those spheres.