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Alex Hastings lives in Portsmouth, England. He divides his time between writing and looking for paid employment. He'd love to combine the two, but like much of his writing, this remains a fantasy. Alex's story, "Mr Information and the Wimshurst Machine" is currently available online at DeathGrip.

Dark Planet is designed and edited by Lucy A. Snyder. If you spot any errors, or if you have any comments, please contact her at lusnyde@cyberus.ca.

All materials copyright 1996-2001 by their respective creators. No stories, articles, poems or images from this webzine may be posted or published without the written consent of their creator(s).

Carbon Paper Flesh

by Alex Hastings

A legacy of manacles
Describes the past that we've endured.

Together and forbidden --
Her palimpsest flesh, my exquisite memory --
The record of our trials berates conventional memento.

The pressured contours of my lover's skin
Engulfing taut, insidious steel;
Cables, and chain-links
Imprinting their authority;
The harsh rawness of weathered jute
Searing restrained limbs.

How tight the desiccated leather comes
When sweat-sodden fibres shrink and cloy:
Constricted breath, arched bone, stretched skin,
And straining but ungiving muscles --
All these shine bright in my mind's eye.

I'll not forget those liquorice pleasures.
Nor will my love, exhibiting each catch,
Each frightful gasp,
Each tremulous invasion of her epidermal canvas.

I have it now --
Her personal report
Of our conjugal agony.
Her marked and metered body wrapped in slumber
Against me always,
A carbon copy of our lust,
Our love,
Our danger.