“A Starship Shot Down Like the Sun” by Andrea Tang

I went to seek a dying star
A sun shot down by Houyi’s bow,
Reflected bright by Chang’e’s moon,
Their light upon my earth bestowed:
All heaven’s spheres around me whirled,
The ancient gods of time ensnared
By mortal hands and mortal fear,
By waves of light unseen, infrared.

But when I caught my dwindling star,
Its siblings dead at Houyi’s hand,
Its light quenched pale in Chang’e’s gaze,
My starship dove toward barren land;
The cold crept dark around my doubt,
And paired with faith fueled bright with dread
That whistled through my empty chest:
A human fear of suns shot dead.

Though galaxies have spun astray
The mortal myths and fairytales
Of spheres hung bright with faces dear,
As engines of my starship fail,
Embracing here my star-felled sun,
I’ll whisper still the song of spheres:
An arrow arced from Houyi’s bow
To lay to rest immortal fears.


Andrea Tang is a speculative fiction writer, poet, and international affairs consultant based in Washington, DC. Her other poetry has previously appeared in Uncanny Magazine.

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