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here between the wires
we unlocked the materials for starshine & clay
figured out how to code our way into existence.

God does not exit stage left,
behind a cool red curtain &
there are no thrones whose location we can’t find.

nothing is hidden;
everything is a sound that echoes
everything is a purpose.

and nothing here exists to die.
everything Created is immortal
pixelations of human desire.

even us.

we created blueprints of better living
on the jagged edges of Mars
before Mars knew who she was.

before Mars knew this liquid was water
we stored our hopes beneath her
& a swirling red eye.

who are you,” she never asked.
what will you become,” she never cared
& how wonderful, to be unseen.

what is blacker than space
how it wishes to love you with treasures
but can’t help boiling your blood

how it captivates the human eye
a territory of the unknown
implemented into every aspect of pop culture.

if a body appears within space
& the waves don’t travel to hear them scream
did they ever suffer at all?

space, how she embodies us.
didn’t it make sense to imagine her
as our home?

we placed ourselves into being
where hostility was assumed
because God, haven’t we had practice?

they rescinded our invitation to the afterlife
after marking us damned within life
and we dreamt on.

they robbed us out of land
& gave us an identity ever-shifting
and we dreamt on.

they figured out we had wanted Mars;
must have left the prints out where they could see
& spoken a little too loud on moon-shine whispers

and suddenly, man goes to the moon.
man colonizes Mars.
and we dream on.

here between the wires
we figured how to live without access
& thrive with only each other.

we figured how the human body
survives away from food & water &
maybe it just proves we were never human at all.

here between the wires
everything that was & was ever to be?
it was ours.

but i have seen on bridges
the sign of decay.
how even starshine has lost its magic.

this time we can build armies,
but don’t you see how the cameras
flash in warning of tomorrow?

we are becoming Named again
& doesn’t it feel like a familiar burden
doesn’t it feel like a charge?

we worked so hard.
but it was our first rule
in whatever format we had staked.

don’t get attached.
don’t get attached.
it’s time to log out.

Vanessa Taylor is a writer and organizer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is interested in using a multi-disciplinary approach to social justice, from on-the-ground activism to finding accessible ways to educate community, with writing as a way to make sense of it all. Her work focuses on exploring Black womanhood and Muslim identity.
Current Issue
1 Dec 2020

A toda la gente lectora: esperamos que disfruten mucho este especial de México de Strange Horizons. To all readers: we hope you enjoy this special issue from Mexico by Strange Horizons.
Onka miyek tlajle. Se lamajtsin itsintlan se xalxokokojtle kitlajkwilia etl.
The painful stigmata did not let me drive for long. / El doloroso estigma no me permitió conducir.
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Ateri Miyawatl
Hay mucha tierra. Una anciana sentada bajo un árbol de guayaba limpia frijol negro.
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Adam Coon
There is a lot of earth. An elderly woman gathers beans below a guava tree.
—Soy un tlacuache y tengo la culpa de tu extinción, Armando.
“I am a tlacuache, and your extinction is my fault, Armando.”
En el fondo del mar no hay poetas, sólo criaturas fotovoltaicas y paisajes sombríos.
By: Vraiux Dorós
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
No poets are found at the bottom of the sea—only photovoltaic creatures and ghostly landscapes.
Manx was an amorphous alien made of pink slime, lard, and buttercream.
By: Luz Rosales
Translated by: Andrea Chapela
Manx era un alienígena amorfo rosa, hecho de babaza, manteca y crema para batir.
La materia oscura abarca ochenta por ciento del universo y, como el agar en un medio de cultivo, es lo que permite que estructuras como cúmulos o galaxias permanezcan unidas.
Dark matter makes up eighty percent of the universe. Like agar culture medium, this is what holds things like galaxy clusters—and galaxies themselves—together.
She checks the knob and the door is unlocked—she pokes her head through. Smoke from burning sage wraps around her.
Toma el picaporte y, al girarlo, descubre que la casa está abierta. Cuando se asoma, la golpea un olor a salvia quemada.
La evoco ahora: la tarde fría, el jardín insólito, las enredaderas, los pináculos, los charcos en curiosas figuras chinescas.
I see it now: the cold afternoon, the curious garden, the climbing vines, the pinnacles, the oddly-shaped puddles like Chinese letters.
I thought it was one of those reserved for tourists and ignorant throats. / pensé que era uno de esos reservados para turistas y catadores ignorantes.
drinking the symphony of the galactic parrot / bebe la sinfonia del pájaro galáctico / sk’upinbe sk’ejoj mutal yut vinajel
Some Mexican visual artists that I've really been loving are Miguel Covarrubias, Emilio Amero, and particularly Ernesto García Cabral.
Issue 23 Nov 2020
By: Michael Bazzett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Michael Bazzett
Issue 16 Nov 2020
By: Cat Aquino
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Michael Chang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Nov 2020
By: Miyuki Jane Pinckard
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 2 Nov 2020
By: Allison Mulvihill
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ali Trotta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Oct 2020
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Aber O. Grand
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 12 Oct 2020
By: Elisabeth R. Moore
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Stephanie Jean
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Oct 2020
By: J.L. Akagi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Lesley Wheeler
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Lesley Wheeler
Issue 28 Sep 2020
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 21 Sep 2020
By: Aqdas Aftab
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: David Clink
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Sep 2020
By: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Blackford
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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