Chang E

by Joyce Ker
Issue: Paracosm (Winter 2017)

So this is how the story ends: my lover with an arrow caught between his chest.
His student nearby with a bow.  Not long ago, fairy godmother gave us immortality.
Now she is taking it back, fish back to the rivers, birds back to the perches,
Maybe his ribs pop back into place.  Years ago, he balanced ten suns on the cusps of his knuckles, then shot all but one to save mankind from the heat.  But all heroes want to live forever. As his hair grew thinner, his days were marked by the darkening sky.
So this is how the story starts: as he pulls his bow towards the final sun remaining, I call his name, tell him to stop.  He looks around, falls in love. And this is how we loved:
my hand in his as we wait for morning to catch flame for eternity.