Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:


Ma wouldn’t tell me anything,
but I knew. That inkblot bruise
on your belly—it bloomed like
a dying star.

So hot that summer, your fingers
left bio-ink on the monkey bars.
“It’s sweat,” you said, your eyes
cutting, daring me to say otherwise.

Good times that summer. Saturday morning cartoons on our
dying TV. How I spun you in the dryer and you came out all
pixelated. Lego tower to heaven, we stacked by Lake Ontario,
so easy for you. How you were airbrushed by fumes from Ma’s
wok, fish boiling and Sichuan peppercorns sizzling like tiny
time bombs. Claps of joy and laughter, Ma’s face glowing red
from baijiu. My arm in a cast after the skateboarding crash,
yours reprinted anew. You telling me on that wet balcony in
Scarborough: “You can do anything.”

Then that bruise. Then two.
More bio-ink smearing off you like
pigment from a butterfly’s wing.

Blur. Break. Scream. Tires
screeching. Red valve shoved
down the slit in your neck,
pumping. Recalling the product
recall. Your atoms scrambled and
refused. Mouthing freezies in hospital
rooms stinking of old glue, my tongue
lime green, yours blueprint residue.
Holding your hand, hot heart beeping,
synthskin and boy bones, HD feelings.

On the postcard I received a month later:
Preserve my body groove, which was
so you.

When I visit Ma and she pours me tea,
she sometimes apologizes, still, for having had
to print me a brother that one time.

I always remind her of that summer, that one
summer, your last summer, one of many summers,
made real by their weight in sweat.



Millie Ho’s work appears in Lightspeed Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, and others. She was a finalist for the 2019 Rhysling Awards, and lives in Montreal. Find her at www.millieho.net and on Twitter @Millie_Ho.
Current Issue
21 Sep 2020

The day the last qawwal was killed, my childhood city, already known for its lethal silence, for its censorship of words, for its refusal to listen, went into a deep deep quiet.
By: Aqdas Aftab
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Aqdas Aftab's “Quiet.”
You like that every single word, image, and idea in my poetry has meaning and is put there for a reason, so when you ask about the plant in my poem and need to know more about it. . .
By: David Clink
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents David Clink's “Back Story.”
Friday: The Supernova Era by Cixin Liu, translated by Joel Martinsen 
Issue 14 Sep 2020
By: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Blackford
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Sep 2020
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Bethany Powell
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Bethany Powell
Issue 31 Aug 2020
By: R.B. Lemberg
By: Julia Rios
By: Sonya Taaffe
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: R.B. Lemberg
Podcast read by: Julia Rios
Podcast read by: Sonya Taaffe
Issue 24 Aug 2020
By: Leslie J. Anderson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Leslie J. Anderson
Issue 17 Aug 2020
By: Emma Törzs
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liz Adair
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Aug 2020
By: Anya Johanna DeNiro
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Laura Cranehill
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 3 Aug 2020
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Load More
%d bloggers like this: