alien (n) [Ale-LEE-AN]: 1. Extraterrestrial beings from anywhere but here; where here is Earth and anywhere but is any atmos beyond our favored panopticon. 2. Little green men from B-reel sci-fi i.e. close encounters of the fourth kind; the X-files, bloodshot-eyed men crawling through air vents. 3. Creatures of unknown origin i.e. that which makes colonizers unsettled or challenged in either strength or intellect. 4. Unusual beings. Dark in shadow and intent. Origin: alternate dimensions or intergalactic portals.

The Vampire of Venice

When archeologists unearthed your bones
from mass grave, they found your mouth
held open by brick, as if in exorcism. Unearthed

in blood & heretic, your village, your venetians,
made forest in deviant burial to prevent
your rise, your contagion of corpse. 500 years

later, men ruled your body ordinary, merely bred
on grains & vegetables until natural death at 71.
But what if other bodies mined your flesh

first? Or purged black fluids from nose or mouth
spread to prevent spread of contagion? We
are still so quick to call witch or heretic

when we have no meaning to the words. Take
a green witch, harvesting herbs from the earth
for tea & tonic. Or the Goddess who consults

the pendulum board to speak with their ancestors.
What of our depictions? What of our own stories?

About the Author

Nic Sattavara is a queer author from Michigan. Their work has been appeared or is forthcoming in Alluvian, temenos, and Red Ogre Review.