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Are you a good witch

or a bad witch?
   As if there’s an answer
   earned, inscribed
   in bubbles
   reflecting an inverse
   crown.

Whip-stitched into the lining
of that question I see good
and bad like rhinestones
dressing up inevitability.

Are you a   witch
or a   witch?

You are a witch.
   I am a witch.
You are my witch and I
   am yours.

We wave wands or
broomsticks, conjuring
stars or demons or cramps
waiting for diamonds to stop
houses from falling
on our heads.

No water for us, cup covered
on the bar
   iced coffee only,
   to be safe to be dry to be
un-toxicated
un-blamable
inflammable.

Perched on the lip of a bubbling cauldron
I’ve spent decades learning
how best to melt.

How to slide out of sight
into the creases between the red light
and the green--

Sopping streets,
salt spraying
witches on car tires
witches on sidewalks
witches in oil puddles
witches staining heels
hems faces cuffs—

following instead of being
followed, trailing in defiance
of being trailed.

Witches melt from clubs to
hearts to doorsteps, spreading dark
spots to remind the world

that magic really does
exist.



Marisca Pichette is an author of speculative fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Her work has been published in PseudoPod, Daily Science Fiction, and Uncharted, and is forthcoming in Fireside and PodCastle, among others. Her debut novel, BROKEN, is forthcoming in August 2022 with Heroic Books. A lover of moss and monsters, she lives in Western Massachusetts.
Current Issue
26 Sep 2022

Would a Teixcalaanli aristocrat look up at the sky, think of Lsel Station, and wonder—with Auden—"what doubtful act allows/ Our freedom in this English house/ our picnics in the sun"?
I propose that The Expanse and its ilk present us with a similar sentiment, in reverse—a warning that for all the promise of futurism and technological advancement, plenty of new, and perhaps much worse futures are right before us. In the course of outrunning la vieux monde, we may find that we are awaited not simply by new worlds to win, but also many more which may yet be lost.
where oil slurped up out of the dirt, they drink the coffee
Science fiction is a genre that continues to struggle with its own colonialist history, of which many of its portrayals of extractivism are a part. Science fiction is also a genre that has a history of being socially progressive and conscious – these are both truths.
Bring my stones, my bones, back to me
If we are to accept that the extractive unconscious is latent, is everywhere, part of everything, but unseen and unspoken, and killing us in our waking lives, then science fiction constitutes its dreams.
they are quoting Darwish at the picket & i am finally breathing again
Waste is profoundly shaping and changing our society and our way of living. Our daily mundane world always treats waste as a hidden structure, together with its whole ecosystem, and places it beyond our sight, to maintain the glories of contemporary life. But unfortunately, some are advantaged by this, while others suffer.
Like this woman, I am carrying the world on my back.
So we’re talking about a violence that supplants the histories of people and things, scrubbing them clean so that they can fuel the oppressive and unequal status quo it sustains.
Issue 21 Sep 2022
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By: Cat T.
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