Size / / /

I come to you from a realm of incessant storms,

gowned in the shreds of an inadequate umbrella.

What happened to my hair? It kept getting snarled

into the filigree hilts of godmothers' wands, or stuck

in the icing on half-baked cottages, or wound

itself into nooses around already-netted fish. There

was nothing to do but to crop it all off. Loose, it promptly

smothered an acre of corn. When even the crows

can't wait to see you gone, it's time to shove

what's left of your life into a walking shroud

and cobble together what you can

from the pelts and bones of out-raced rabbits,

the better to greet whatever's next in store

with the treadlessness of a ghost, but even when

my fingertips graze only stone and tin,

my breath bruises fruit and my words ruin wells.

I've been told there are cures, but what I've heard

always ends with a witch in the fire

or the pond. I won't do that

to someone else's grandmother. And now

you have someone to blame for next week's blight

and next month's horror—I

am marching away even as you slam your door.




Peg Duthie shares a house in Nashville, Tennessee, with a brown dog and a piano tuned a half-step high. Her poems have appeared in Dead Mule, flashquake, and elsewhere, and she owes Heisenberg's ghost a round. You can find her poem Some Houseguests Can't Be Helped in our archives.
Current Issue
10 Feb 2020

This house was too small for six people, woefully so, but it’s too big for one; the empty rooms fill up with spirits.
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Shannon Sanders's “Company.”
Please follow the instructions for reading this poem: 1. Imagine a cage. Any cage, of any size. 2. Love the cage. The cage is your friend.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Gabriel Ascencio Morales's “Abstraction,” with a designed sound environment.
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
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Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
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Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
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By: Jessica P. Wick
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Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
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Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
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By: Nikoline Kaiser
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Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
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Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
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Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
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Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
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Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
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