— at the Skiain Gate
Where is the present? Trojan walls were red
Larry Hammer lives in Arizona, where the chaparral is dry and the cavalry fort is far across the arroyo. He wrote “Kassandra” to exorcise the nightmare image of living backwards in time from his brain.
Within the waste, dawn was diluted light|
not yet tinged with colors other than shades
of black. Soon the sun’s flood would stream high
above him, washing the bare world sere and pale
with the heat of desiccation, but for now,
small mercies, it was cool enough to walk
and bright enough to see where others had walked
on his shoulder, and continued on to the height
after countless stones and dry arroyos, now
until he saw them: four buildings of pale
Sun poured in his face, forcing him to shade
a shade of wish: fetch her. But how? Well, now
Larry Hammer lives in Arizona, where the chaparral is dry and the hacienda is far across the arroyo. He wrote “At Death’s Door” to resurrect an obsessive image from an otherwise failed short story.