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A late-night text message from the Keyhole Nebula, eight thousand and forty-one trillion kilometers away

In no uncertain terms, you said, it’s been too long. Since we caught up, you clarified. (Caught up, caught up, I muttered to myself.) In any case, in no uncertain terms, I understood (I muttered) what you really meant. You have lately changed your shape. You wanted me to understand, you said, the difference between the two of us. You and I, singled out hot pink. The pink mutter and wet beat, the strum of the blood in our hot little ears. Our hot little ears pressed to the cold black wall of a towering bank vault. A towering cold black bank vault, our defiant fingers stroking the combination locks. The bodies’ names under our breath: WR 25, Trumpler 16, Eta Carinae. The bodies brighter than four million suns, you don’t say, I don’t say. Through stethoscopes, we hear the last wheel and the distance clicking into place. I miss you, I miss you too. We loot the loot, the light, most luminous pink and supergiant. You say, you don’t say. You’re flirting with desire, disaster. In no uncertain terms, no one cracks, you and I. We’re not unsafe, in no uncertain terms, to make a getaway.


MEGHAN KEMP-GEE is the author of The Animal in the Room (Coach House Books, 2023), as well as the poetry chapbooks What I Meant to Ask and Things to Buy in New Brunswick. She also co-created the webcomic Contested Strip, recently adapted into a graphic novel, One More Year. She is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of New Brunswick and currently resides in North Vancouver BC.


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