Mind the grackles on your car, in the driveway here. They love side-view mirrors where they stare into their own button eyes. Hear them laugh? They cherish the bouncing sound of their own voices like sand passing through glass—the scrape of crystal in their gullets.
The vegetarian ones
are no safer than the others.
In fact beware of those that
are expected to take root
and keep growing.
Colours can be misleading—
if you're served grey kebabs,
do not be afraid to ask for
those special glasses. Remember,
the things you fail to see
properly, at first, are often
And though your guide books
and petty officials will tell you
do not go empty handed.
Carry a few sugar-dusted biscuits
to spread out as an expected dessert,
or unabashedly produce a jar
of your mother's green chutney
from a sleeve.
You see the point in venturing
into the unknown is not adventure
or fame or fortune or even escape.
Strange Horizons is a weekly magazine of and about speculative fiction. We publish fiction, poetry, reviews, essays, interviews, and art. For more information, see our about page. All material in Strange Horizons is copyrighted to the original authors and may not be reproduced without permission.