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The Wrath of Khan: The Cold of Space

In The Warmth of Khan I talked in the most sympathetic of terms about Khan because he is — quite frankly — a most tragic figure, and — as a storyteller — I love a tragic figure.

Today I had originally intended to write about all the things that will undoubtedly be propelling us into the third motion picture installment of the Original Series, but it didn’t happen.

Instead, I became obsessed with Khan talking about the vengeance he wanted to enact on Kirk. He spoke of chasing Kirk around Perdition’s flames (Moby Dick), and revenge being best served cold (a Klingon proverb he probably learned from his wife Marla who probably had as romantic notions about the Klingons as she did the He-Men of humanity’s yesteryear). Thing is, after mentioning he wanted to dish out his revenge cold, Khan said “space is very cold”.

That statement threw me right back into thinking about all his mourning, and how lonely and empty his life must have been. It got me thinking about how cold her side of the bed must have seemed without her in it. So, today’s sonnet, bridges the gap between his mourning and his lust for vengeance.

A chill has settled where she laid,
and in its vast oblivion
there weighs a debt no longer stayed
by hands of sweet valerian.
This bed — my second wasted world —
perdition froze when I was hurled
so I would long her warm embrace
til vengeful mercy showed your face;
and, turned my hands to task your fate
with fires beyond all friendly drop,
with ice not still enough to stop
the beating heart I’d leave to sate
itself on company of worms,
or with one word that all affirms.