Size / / /

Content warning:

In Israel I was given
the empty skin-suit of a woman with
crooked fingers and a filthy mouth.Nobody explained the clumsy
curve of her spine or the slashes filled with
silica gel on her B-cups and

legs, but though I was curious,
I allowed myself to be adjusted
to her inverted triangle shape

with no questions. I kept them stashed.
The Jerusalem heat peeled off my sweat
and the first pearls dripped down my new back.

This tongue can say son-of-a-whore
with perfect clarity and confidence,
but somehow still doesn’t know Hebrew—

the guttural words always caught
in my strawberry-smooth throat, and I find
I’m quietly hoping that I can

still sing. I could sing beautifully.
I was a Soprano 1, before the
time had come to be a woman, and it would be nice if she was a
Soprano 1 too. At least, if I must
be a woman, if I must adapt

to fit this oversized skin-suit,
please let my throat remember how to sing.
Girl or woman, I don’t have much else.

When it was over and we could
fold Israel into a suitcase with
our olive oil cream and hamsas,

my voice was waiting for me like
how a lover will always remain to
collect the one who had pined for him

in her absence. Girl or woman,
I can sing. With crooked fingers and curved
spine, my throat is still strawberry-smooth.

Cecilia R. is a student at Lesley University, majoring in sociology. Hopefully, she will one day be a juvenile lawyer (who still writes poetry, of course).
Current Issue
21 Sep 2022

There is little more inspirational than a writer who devotes her talents to the work of others.
I was twelve when my mother was born. Twelve or thereabouts. If I’d been older, I could have said things like I never wanted to be a daughter; I don’t have a filial bone in my body. Relatives could have tilted their heads at me, insisting I’d change my mind. But I was twelve so I said nothing. I had no relatives.
a few miles from the fallout zone. / You double-check the index card
Unripe morning / cut open too soon
Issue 12 Sep 2022
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By: Cat T.
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Strange Horizons
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