Orbital Views by Gretchen Tessmer

The first time we passed Saturn, you were still alive. Do you remember? We were
whispering together, in a secluded alcove in Section A-17. Someone shouted “Saturn’s rings on the left!” and everyone rushed to the windows. Except you. You caught my hand, held me back. You kissed me and we missed it completely.

Everyone thought we’d outrun death. But orbit’s a funny thing—takes you back to the same spot again. And again.

The second time we passed Saturn, you were dead, so I couldn’t look. I couldn’t.

This last time, I still didn’t look. But our daughter did.

Gretchen Tessmer is a writer/attorney based in the U.S./Canadian borderlands of Northern New York. She writes both poetry and short fiction, with work appearing in Nature, Daily Science Fiction and Strange Horizons, among other venues.

Follow her on Twitter: @missginandtonic