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Cultivating Midnight


Cultivating Midnight
by Stefani Cox

We are clay in this garden
Eden never slept, timid
Earthen sundries, sorted
Sifted by moonlit monsters.

Alone together, no matter
Leaves at dusk are leaves at dawn
Pert thorns ride creeping vines
Will touch, a barely tickled moment.

What corners are yet to be explored?
Which apparitions to misconstrue?
Embed with meaning not their own?

A tree is just a tree, a flower
Same. Water running swift
Threads all. Keep me honest
Paradise, let me scoop your
Joyous soil into this hungry maw.

* * *

Stefani Cox is a speculative fiction writer and sometimes-poet based in Los Angeles. Her work is published or forthcoming in the anthologies Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers and Black From the Future: A Collection of Black Speculative Writing, as well in the magazines FIYAH and Speculative City. Stefani is an alumna of the VONA/Voices workshops and has edited for PodCastle fantasy fiction podcast. She spends her free time hiking, practicing yoga, and playing with her grumpy yet lovable rescue dog. Find her on Twitter @stefanicox or her website stefanicox.com.

What inspires you to write and keep writing?

Writing is how I make sense of myself in relation to the world and vice versa. I’ve spent a lot of time writing speculative fiction, but the draw of poetry for me is the ability to be looser with the rules, and to let myself be surprised by what shows up on the page. I’m inspired by reading the work of other poets and speculative writers, especially emerging writers of color. Sometimes too, the process of writing itself becomes its own inspiration.

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