Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:


I. First Sister, Sister Winter Snake

I didn’t know what choked me in the Russian courtyard,
amid the drifting jeweled wisps. I came to drink our history
hidden behind iron gates, to interpret the flag fluttering
its sickle and hammer, to witness one lone cottonwood
bright in the golden-red light. Myth, our sister said, Revolution.

A weight of fingers, again, around my throat in the sunset's glow,
luminescent and ghosting. I could neither speak nor breathe,
my tongue clamped by the past’s vice-grip. When the server asked,
Coffee black? I shook my head, eyes watering, hands quaking.

We know her, are her, our sister said. We are ancient as babble—
a language withered by family truth. Who had I believed
we were for? I held the fairy book of Baba Yaga, the one gilded
with her image—long nose, mouth to suck, teeth to cut
a heart—open in my lap. Why do I hunger?

II. Second Sister, Sister Moon

My little babuscha, my mother whispered to my wrinkled face,
squeezing pruny fingers and toes, mussing my hair, knowing
the cold, sharp edges of Moscow streets, how they would scour me,
how they would whet my teeth to points and shear my leg to bone,
shaping me into yet another. Baba Iaga, they called me in school,
skinny girl with bony shanks, hawkish nose, birdlike fingers
carving horns to cull songs. I shaped a firebird charm to wear.
Classmates stared where it jiggled, dropping feathers of ill-luck.
My name means horror, fury, torture, pain. Baba Yaga, we’re called,
a name I was born into, grew into, am. I wobble on chicken legs,
build fences like rotting bones, live in a home on stilts that turns
in wind. My days feel mundane—cook, sweep, grind herbs to spell,
curse, and hex, warn so many away, tend to my sisters. Snuffling,
I nestle candles in skulls. Lift my nose, sniff for Russian men.

III. Third Sister, Sister Death

One of us was naive, the good girl men would sing-speak pop songs to
over vodka, “I Will Survive" a humming drunken mumble in July sun
as music warbled from the Black Sea boardwalk of flapping tents.

One of us was compliant, letting fate grind and mash her
like dreamspells of herbs worked by mortar and pestle,
she licking the limbs of men, cracking and sucking them down,
men of marrow and bone. Are we here of our own free will?

What answer isn't a lie? One of us was fierce, riding out the night,
a shadow’s specter, refusing her mother’s latching warmth,
the sweet suckle of milk-tit beyond babyhood. I cast my voice
to the moon, snarl, be the wolf bitch for the world. Who doesn’t

consume to escape? I ride the pig. I dance the old men, pull
them down. Give me secrets, I say, Give me your babes.


Andrea Blythe lives in the San Francisco Bay Area, where she writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Yellow Chair Review, Nonbinary Review, Linden Avenue, and Strange Horizons and has been nominated for Independent Best American Poetry and Sundress Best of the Net in 2015.



Andrea Blythe lives in Los Gatos, California, where she writes poetry and fiction. Her poetry has appeared in several publications, including Chiaroscuro (ChiZine), Perigee, Bear Creek Haiku, and Chinquapin. If you would like to learn more, you can visit her webpage: www.andreablythe.com. You can also see her previous work in our archives.
Laura Madeline Wiseman's debut book of poetry is Sprung (San Francisco Bay Press). She is also the author of six chapbooks, including 2012's Unclose the Door. She is the editor of Women Write Resistance: Poets Resist Gender Violence (Hyacinth Girl Press). She has a doctorate from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she teaches creative writing. Stranger Still, a new anthology of her alien-themed poems, will be available in October 2013, and can be pre-ordered through Finishing Line Press.
Current Issue
3 Aug 2020

By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
The convoy appeared in a cloud of dust against the Martian dawn atop the eastern hills...Were they bringing food, or were they bringing more war into the chapel?
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Christine Lucas's “My Love, Our Lady of Slaughter.”
the freedom offered by thrashing four limbs, by holding your mouth perfectly ajar like a grotto spitting bubbles
By: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Krishnakumar Sankaran
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Krishnakumar Sankaran's “This poem is a dead zone” with a reading by the poet.
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!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Load More
%d bloggers like this: