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i was born at twilight
always looking for the hour
when the moon and the sun
share the sky

looking for a home
they can share
against this wedge of darkness

i carry in my side
eve's rib
the forgotten mother
of a drunk tongue
or an angry name

buzzing like a mouthful of moths
or maybe just one
pressed to my wrist

a reminder of mistakes
of fathers already gone
and mothers hiding in their own minds

my nimble fingers
no match for my palms
or the too soft soles
of my feet

a lie written in sunsets
a misstep only at dusk
when the sky bleeds
and the moon sighs
to the metronome
of the long nights

no sense in breaking lines
to fit into my teeth
like a body getting softer
when it should know better

in the dreams of traitors
i watch at night
too sharp to keep
when the sun is
high in the sky

and my fevered brain
and the sweat falling
between my breasts

just a story
without a protagonist
a backdrop for an illusion
too elaborate to ground

an unbroken list
of blurry words
and jagged lines



Rabha Ashry is Egyptian, from Abu Dhabi, and based in Chicago. A New York University Abu Dhabi graduate, she is currently completing an MFA in Writing at School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. She spends a lot of time scribbling short poems in her notebook, smoking menthols, and looking lost. Hearing her name pronounced right makes her happy in a way she can't quite describe, and she speaks to her roommate's cats in Arabic because she knows they speak Arabic too.
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3 Aug 2020

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Issue 20 Jul 2020
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Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
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Issue 13 Jul 2020
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