“Beneath This Blood-Red Sun They Come” by Lauren McBride

Arriving miners cannot fight us all
swarming up from the ground
wherever they land—
surrounding their ships, attacking,
dragging some larger soft-skins,
stung and screaming,
deep below through
a labyrinth of lava tubes
that riddle gem-rich rocks
between the volcanic surface
and volatile, molten core.

Secure in the main caves,
pinchers pull flesh
from bone in seconds.
Skulls left untouched
are mounted high
on barren tunnel walls
to please the queen –
the decorative effect
of the dead displayed
the same way we had seen
hunters on other worlds
display their trophies.

Nominated for the SFPA’s Rhysling and Dwarf Stars Awards, Lauren McBride‘s poetry has appeared in dozens of publications including Dreams and Nightmares, Silver Blade and The Grievous Angel.
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