The Scholar’s Off-World Girlfriend

Marge Simon

The Scholar’s Off-World Girlfriend


He kept his hands in his pockets when

they met, as if she might be contagious.

They walked a way, stopping at the bridge

to watch the fish perform a shadowy ballet.

Over coffee, he told her she had pretty hair.

He sat on the rug in her apartment,

sipping mulled wine and talking ideas

softly and painfully slow, as if she

were only providing a space for him

to address her ornamental pillows.

She plucked lint balls from his sweater,

told him she was here if he needed her,

responded to his references to Hegel,

the endless Nietzsche quotes, was silent

when he gazed off nobly, so infused

with words and wisdom, more than she

should tolerate, but she loved the way

he smelled, his eyes, his helpless honesty.

Though she was light years brighter, galaxies

beyond him, she never let him know.


Marge Simon lives in Ocala, FL. She edits a column for the HWA Newsletter, “Blood & Spades: Poets of the Dark Side,” and serves on the HWA Board of Trustees. She is the second woman to be acknowledged by the SF & F Poetry Association with a Grand Master Award. She is a frequent contributor to Abyss & Apex.

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