by Ada Hoffmann Ants on my corneas rearrange a stuck eyelash into labels: this deep-pillared arc, a vestibule; this flower in the sky, an apse; and with a wink I can witness all of the years of the building, its high-nosed owners and broken bells. You brush past, sweet in Sunday-silk, a bare-faced stranger. You smile with a welcoming question and I want to answer right— to light those stained-glass eyes. I want to know you. Obliging ants print your name on my eyes: Felicity. Your background, your family history. I lose myself in novels of you, all through the service, and by the time I think to look up, You’ve gone.
Ada Hoffmann is the author of the space opera novels THE OUTSIDE and THE FALLEN, as well as dozens of speculative short stories and poems. Ada’s work has been a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award, the Compton Crook Award, and the WSFA Small Press Award, among others. She is also the author of the Autistic Book Party review series, devoted to in-depth #ownvoices discussions of autism representation in speculative fiction.