The Sidekick

I knew just where to stand
to let the light pool in my eyes
to tame the curl at my brow
to hint at secrets on my lips

so you would choose me

I lifted weights
so my tights fit just right

I practiced my cadence
to follow the shadow
of your voice

I taught myself to speak of wind
as a conveyance
and buildings as stepping stones

I mapped cities by way of rooftops
and steeples
Met birds as brothers

for all the hollow good deeds
you do
I spoke of ripped hearts
how love mends

Now I remind myself to tell you
every day
that the ruin of the mind is
really a gothic keep
and we can live there
safe in our technology
under ivy-covered arches
in rain-scented rooms

I make my suggestions
seem as if they are your ideas

you agree to them all

we need only a blanket or two
some computers

with your brisk commanding looks
and my mind
I can have my bromance
You can have your revenge

— Wendy Rathbone


Wendy Rathbone has poetry published in Asimov’s SF, Dreams and Nightmares, Apex, Strange Horizons, Eye to the Telescope, Star*Line and many more publications. Her newest poetry book, Dead Starships, is available on Amazon.

She has been nominated for the 2016 Rhysling Poetry Award, and recently won third place in the long poem category of the SFPA Poetry Contest. Her poetry collection, Turn Left at November, was nominated for the Elgin Award in 2016. She also writes novels. You can find her on Facebook and here:

Wendy lives in Yucca Valley, CA.

Editor’s Notes: “A bromance is a close, emotionally intense, non-sexual bond between two men. It is an exceptionally tight affectional, homosocial male bonding relationship exceeding that of usual friendship, and is distinguished by a particularly high level of emotional intimacy.” (Wikipedia)

The artwork is the City of Gotham by Dieter_G (public domain)