Size / / /

These are the facts of your life:
You were born on the carousel.
It was a cold fall night, just like this one,
And the park was dead-deserted.
Our lights were all turned off.
Your mother is the swan-bench.
We don't know who your father was.
You needn't look so ashamed --
Not on that count.
It would have been the same for any of us.
So many men ride us. It can't be helped.
The groundskeeper found you
And raised you in his hothouse.
He should have known better
Than to let you out this time of year.
Oh, you escaped, did you?
I expect you don't know better.
You say he named you Helen?
His mythology is not quite sound.
But no matter. It fits you.
Come sit under the awning. It keeps the wind off.
Something brought you back here.
But you couldn't have remembered, could you?
And this isn't a happy place,
Not even when there's music and voices,
All the looping sounds of life.
But I suppose all of us must have somewhere,
And this place is as good as any --
For one such as yourself.
When all the crowds are gone,
And the wind dies down for just a moment,
It's almost like a place that could be home.

 

Copyright © 2004 Jennifer de Guzman

Reader Comments


Jennifer de Guzman is a literature student, comic book editor, and privateer from the San Francisco Bay Area. When she isn't sailing the high seas for glory and profit, she is usually reading, writing, or moping about on the floor. Her fiction has also been published in Strange Horizons.



Current Issue
24 Feb 2020

tight braids coiled into isles and continents against our scalps
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Mayra Paris's “New York, 2009.”
This Mind and Body Cyborg as a queer figure raises its head in Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone’s 2019 epistolary novel This Is How You Lose the Time War, as two Cyborg bodies shed their previous subjectivities in order to find a queer understanding of one another.
Carl just said ‘if the skull wants to break out, it will have to come to me for the key’, which makes me think that Carl doesn’t really understand how breaking out of a place works.
Wednesday: The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman 
Friday: Into Bones Like Oil by Kaaron Warren 
Issue 17 Feb 2020
By: Priya Sridhar
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: E. F. Schraeder
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Feb 2020
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: