capturing the mood

i captured the mood
that you let go

it flew up like a kite
breached the atmosphere
and dove into outer space

like it was trying to escape all bodies—
human and planetary

i was floating along
in my EVA suit, pressurized, detached, untethered
the frayed ends of my harness intimating the moment
i didn’t want to relive

that’s when i saw the mood you let out
so shimmery, so unearthly, so un-rocky
celestial in its own way

it traced around my suited contours
pressing against my folds
tickling against the back of my knees
gathered at the shredded leash

it created its own phantom fastening
between me and the world i left behind

(Editors’ Note: “capturing the mood” is read by Joy Piedmont on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast Episode 28A.)


D.A. Xiaolin Spires

D.A. Xiaolin Spires steps into portals and reappears in sites such as Hawai’i, NY, various parts of Asia, and elsewhere, with her keyboard appendage attached. Besides Uncanny Magazine, her work appears or is forthcoming in publications such as Clarkesworld, Strange Horizons, Analog, Nature, Terraform, Galaxy’s Edge, Fireside, Andromeda Spaceways (Year’s Best), LONTAR, Argot, Star*Line, and anthologies of the strange and beautiful: Deep Signal, Ride the Star Wind, Sharp and Sugar Tooth, Broad Knowledge, Future Visions, and Battling in All Her Finery. Select stories can be read in German, Vietnamese, Spanish, or Estonian translation. She can be found on Twitter: @spireswriter and on her website:

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