Knights of the Smooth Hull

July 28, 2016


Chris Phillips was born in the heart of Kentucky, but being the son of a traveling preacher, he grew up across the country, devouring a buffet of American culture. His fiction can be found in IGMS, Penumbra eMag, and elsewhere. He also works as managing editor for Flash Fiction Online. Visit him online at

The hull of the ship is
sleek, but I’ve never touched it.
Nobody living has. Pictures let
us guess and stories let
us imagine, but it is a thing that both
surrounds and alludes.

I’ve read about the sky.
In my daydreams I gallop
on horseback as we hunt under that
lid on creature to eat
creature. Now all gather with slack faces for
stale provender chips.

We used to be alive ...
used to wander and wonder
and dream. Now we all wait. But for what?
We left the Earth to save
humankind, but when we arrive we won’t be
alive ... walking shells.

Some of us know this. Some
of us fear this. We don’t have
sky, but we have a game. Short wire
is the quest the rest are
knights of the smooth hull. We hunt among rivets
to save (kill) people.

I tremble when I think
about New Earth. What we might
find and who (what) we will need to kill.
The architects built the
infrangible skin for life. But jagged teeth
keep us awake, alive.

© Chris Phillips

1 Comment

  1. Kimberly Hanson

    Before reading this poem I somewhat considered myself an intellectual human being. Now I have realized that I am not. My vocabulary consists of a lot of words but, I guess they just aren’t these ones… Overall, this was a good poem. I would love to read it again with a dictionary at hand so I can easily access the definitions of all of the very interesting words that were used. I would recommend if you like to challenge yourself or if your brain vocabulary consists of more than 5 words.

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