Here in the old
you can find remnants 
of her still,
her smile a ragged
and torn tarn shore,
her perfume
the come-gone scent 
of slapdash rain.

Her workshop sits
a burnt out husk
tucked among the 
West Hills covered 
in glinting starlight frost;
her experiments lie abandoned
the beaker glass still shattered
across the dusty floor.

Her eyes glissade
the wilds now 
and stalk the stony foothills,
trampling down the heather
and snow covered
barbed wire fences.

Her lifelong question
yet unanswered,
What spirits sway
the briery bush
to comb the depths
of corrie lochs?

At least one biographer 
has claimed she died 
taking her lifelong 
studies with her.

But her radio rests
not too far down 
the mountain slope
in the basement of a ranger station
where from time to time
it picks up something,
ancient equations
the wardens think
so they set a man
to sit and listen,
gentle words being
spoke and wrote,
translated into 
a thousand shades 
of sense and scent 
and meaning.

The broadcasts dwindle
come the winter foil,
but some subsist
beneath white static blankets,
feasting on ghost apples
cold and clear,
the question of survival.

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Mack W. Mani
Mack W. Mani is a Portland-based poet and author. His work has appeared in Strange Horizons, Spectral Realms, and The Rhysling Anthology. In 2018 he won Best Screenplay at the H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival.