Paradox Lost

by S.T. Eleu in Issue Ten, August 2023

A dismal universal hiss, the sound
Of public scorn; he wonder’d…

bio Grandfather with a shotgun
caught me in the loft of the barn
two clicks removed from levitical codes

chaos of slurs and bullets
chorus of curses
NO, No, no – no, No, NO

was sent to the hospital
my love was not


Som natural tears they drop'd,
but wip'd them soon…


Awake, arise, or be for ever fall’n…

decades removed from the incident
I founded Tempus Reciprocat Labs
as product of genius, of therapy, of long con

on the first day
I created the prototype for a time machine coil
that was fierce in its elegance, in its efficacy

in the following weeks
I balanced fission and fusion in a quantum state
and gave form to a perpetually renewable fuel source

during the span of the trial by fire months
I assembled each hand-crafted piece of the machine
and coded the temporal equations into the AI

in the final moments of that final year
I sent my therapist a gold pocket watch
then painted a fitting mantra onto the exterior frame

          tempus edax rerum


Rather than be less,
Car’d not to be at all…

I stepped into the machine
set to erase an excrescence from history
no matter the consequence

for who can escape
the seduction of vengeance
once it slithers past reason, past perspicuity


The mind is its own place, and in it self
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav’n…

bullet, bladed pendulum, jawbone of an ass
pillow, pike, vial of poison, pistol –
what would you have used?

my choice was efficient
quick and painless –
why would “age at time of death” matter?


Mother of Science, Now I feel thy Power…

I returned to the present to await the timewave
that would exact its cost and erase me
but it never came

it seems bio Grandma had a healthy appetite
and was never at a loss for suitors
or trysts behind the barn

her son was born
but five days after original bio dad was born
with me still appearing 23 years (and change) later

no worse for wear:
two inches taller, brunette rather than blond
and thanks to the Fates and Mendelian inheritance

on the spectrum

and as for the young man whose last breath
conceded eternity a lifetime ago
in my arms

          amor vincit omnia


The World was all before them, where to choose
Thir place of rest, and Providence thir guide:
They hand in hand with wandring steps and slow,
Through Eden took thir solitarie way.

– John Milton, Paradise Lost

© 2023 S.T. Eleu

S.T. Eleu

Raised in Vegas then exiled to Chicago, S. T. Eleu (they, them) has been a musician, teacher, and consummate Vulcan. Autism is their default universe, and though sparsely populated, is a glorious place to escape to, write in, and display an impressive collection of action figures. Their most recent publications were in Divergents Magazine, New Feathers Anthology, Star*Line, and Aphelion Webzine.

Poetry by S.T. Eleu
  • Paradox Lost