Peeling skimmers off the windshield
I toss them in the bin
Fried, they make good eating
Doc Smith says to leave ‘em alone
“For your health” but I can’t do it
I share ‘em with the dog
He prefers them raw

The Kid says
isn’t it amazing we can eat them
them being aliens and all
tho she claims WE’RE the aliens
but just cos I wasn’t born here
that don’t convert me to alien

She also says they’re spat
Babies of some bigger critters
Big as houses maybe
Somethin’ that don’t want its babies et
Like I don’t want her et
But I tell her
Sure if she tasted like they do
I’d understand

I’m laughing still
Remembering the face she made
Before she run off

These skimmers are ‘bout done
Hope she gets back soon
Or she won’t get none
I hollered a bit ago
She didn’t answer

— David C. Kopaska-Merkel

David C. Kopaska-Merkel has been writing SF and fantasy since rock was young. He joined the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Ass’n (SFPA) in 1986, edited Star*line in the late ‘90s, and later served as SFPA President. Many of his poems have received Rhysling nominations, and he won the Rhysling award for best long poem in 2006 for “The Tin Men,” a collaboration with Kendall Evans. He was voted SFPA Grand Master in 2017. His poetry has been published in scores of venues, including Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and Night Cry. A recent book, Footprints in Stone, is a nonfiction collaboration with Ron Buta. He edits and publishes Dreams and Nightmares, a genre poetry zine in its 31st year of publication. Blog at featuring a daily poem. @DavidKM on Twitter. He lives in a centuried farmhouse that has been engulfed, but not digested, by a city.

Editor’s Note: David said this poem is “a tale of culture clash and willful ignorance.”

The octopus images are from the IconArchive superimposed on a car windshield.

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