They Speak

Virginia-based poet Sarah Lilius brings us an alienated DNA twist of speculative poetry that may very well be a close observation of a female human teen by some sort of abstracted collective intelligence.

The 3D printer transmits a signal to ZUV,
tear shaped, neutral temperatures, constant
sirens, no trouble just noise pollution that
can’t be stopped. 

The “husband” enjoys crafting interesting
plastic items, especially for the “children.”
When he is low on supplies, packages
arrive. Humans would have said, like

Description of the planet is not something to
be translated. Human brains literally
explode. Brain pudding clogs the systems.
Protect the girl from the world she cannot
know, like hard math doesn’t soak in or
woodworking that could chip a

She is a stereotype we treasure, much deeper
than what humans called an “alien.” We
often give her what she thinks she wants.
Fatty foods, occasional sex, and
companionship from other “females” and
animals, especially “cat.”

Empathy for the girl is something we put our
shoes on for, human shoes pinch but we
realize to endure, to fix the problem, the
long-haired, lonely, lost on an internet
bender at 3 am, “white,” cries often, uses her
language we have mastered with ease,
slipping into sentences like a “prom” dress.

We will make her think this is her idea.

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Sarah Lilius

Sarah Lilius

Sarah Lilius is the author of five chapbooks including GIRL (dancing girl press, 2017) and Traffic Girl (Ghost City Press, 2020). Some of her publication credits include Fourteen Hills, Boulevard, Tinderbox, and forthcoming in the Massachusetts Review. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two sons. Her website is

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