Audio: Read by the author.
Danny is a little boy who went to hell and almost got eaten by the Minotaur. Newt is a little girl sent through space by a corporation to become a host to a monster. Danny is the poem in a world designed to trap and kill it. Newt is the life of the child hiding in airshafts when all life has been reduced to money and machines. Danny escapes the labyrinth and leaves the devil frozen in the snow. Newt looks raw, machinic life in the face and is brushed by gusts of fiery air. Danny and Newt have mothers who love them—who lay their lives on the line for them in impossible circumstances. Danny escapes from hell and is repotted in new soil like a flower. Newt falls into a peaceful sleep after her mother tucks her into bed. Danny and Newt go walking through Hölderlin’s woods each day. The hells they reproach are strewn around them like asphodel. Above, the Milky Way shines in broad daylight, a hundred billion burning strips of paper.
Robert Fernandez is the author, most recently, of Scarecrow (Wesleyan). He lives in Lincoln, Nebraska.
The Image archive is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts.