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St. Valentine's Devil coyly seals
stamps to scented envelopes, posting
missives of hidden love for strangers:
secret admirer to the all-alone.

March Devil rounds the burly
woodpile hedge, revealed by the whisk
of tail through slush and hoof
prints in the thin crust of muddy ice.

June Devil collects midsummer fire
flies in a fruit jar, delighted from all
the wicked hours of a well-spent day, dreamy
with hopes for an endless wicked evening.

September Devil packs brown bag
lunches, and sees the little fiends off to school.
Standing in her apron at driveway's end
waves till the bus disappears down the road.

Halloween Devils flog the Blindman
Bluff with heavy cornstalks,
while one left out sulks
beside her crushed pumpkin grin.

November Devil, silent on a rainy day,
pensively draws frowning faces
in the window glaze, adding bristles and horns
almost as an afterthought.

Yule Devils toast schnapps
and make peppermint resolutions
to the New Year, leering ruefully at broken
promises, and evil deeds yet undone.


Copyright © 2003 Tobias Seamon

Reader Comments

A finalist for the 2003 Erskine J. Poetry Prize, Tobias Seamon's work has appeared at such places as EOTU, The Mississippi Review, The Pedestal Magazine, Snow Monkey, and Strange Horizons. His novel The Magician's Study is forthcoming from Turtle Point Press. He lives in Albany, NY. His previous publications in Strange Horizons can be found in our Archive. To contact him, email

Tobias Seamon's first novel The Magician's Study was recently published by Turtle Point Press. Other work has appeared or is forthcoming in such places as Mississippi Review, Pebble Lake Review, Santa Clara Review, and Strange Horizons. He lives with his wife in upstate New York. You can see more of Tobias's work in our archives, or send him email at
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26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
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