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
20 Sep 2021

Jaysee reported to decontamination, wondering why there hadn’t been a revolt by the augmented long before.
By: Clara Ward
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
In this episode of the Strange Horizons fiction podcast, editor Kat Kourbeti presents Clara Ward's "Motivation Augmentation."
"When we die again, I want to come back as a little brown bat," / I tell the only other person alive.
Art by: Courtney Skaggs
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Courtney Skaggs' “The Little Death After the Apocalypse.”
Friday: The Fall of Koli by M. R. Carey 
Issue 13 Sep 2021
By: Steve Castro
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Sep 2021
By: Yuna Kang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Yuna Kang
By: B. Pladek
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 30 Aug 2021
By: Ian Goh
By: Andy Winter
By: Yong-Yu Huang
By: Sunny Vuong
By: Natalie Wang
By: Mark Dimaisip
By: Yvanna Vien Tica
By: Jack Kin Lim
By: May Chong
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Ian Goh
Podcast read by: Yong-Yu Huang
Podcast read by: Sunny Vuong
Podcast read by: Natalie Wang
Podcast read by: Mark Dimaisip
Podcast read by: Yvanna Vien Tica
Podcast read by: Jack Kin Lim
Podcast read by: May Chong
Podcast read by: P. H. Low
Issue 23 Aug 2021
By: Hannah V Warren
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Aug 2021
By: Bryce A. Taylor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Bryce A. Taylor
Issue 9 Aug 2021
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 3 Aug 2021
By: H. Pueyo
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: M. Regan
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 26 Jul 2021
By: Mary Soon Lee
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Mary Soon Lee
Issue 19 Jul 2021
By: Ian Rosales Casocot
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Nora Claire Miller
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nora Claire Miller
Issue 12 Jul 2021
By: Dante Novario
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Dante Novario
Podcast: Data Migration 
Load More
%d bloggers like this: