Choosing Sides: 7 New Poems by Adam Ford

By | 1 September 2023

Dog Day Afternoon!
Rom Spaceknight #6 (May 1980)

He sits quietly, his hand still warm
from electricity drawn out of the single

naked bulb that gently swings from the
pasteboard ceiling of the small-town garage.

The hidden photovoltaic process continues,
electrons tracing intricate paths inside him

as the coffee the man bought at the local
diner stands untouched beside the breakfast

special sandwich. He gazes at the man and
woman sitting against the wall, sipping from

their polystyrene cups, nervous, watching.
His new friends, his first on Earth, are brave

and resourceful, both drawn to the frontlines
of a war long waged in secret. He does not

know what it is about her that reminds him
of another he once knew, more than two

centuries ago, only that she stirs a yearning
for things relinquished when he agreed to be

grafted to this suit of futuristic battle-armour
and face off against a fleet of starships bent on

galactic conquest: a breeze against his cheek,
his own voice, the ability to eat, to cry, to sing.

The coffee and his hand grow cold. He stills
his circuits and drifts into an electronic dream.


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