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
27 Jan 2020

Oozing dripping grey tentacles maim & rip open everyone at the party while you & I keep vaping out here by the garage.
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Weston Richey's “Disemboweled Sonnet for Telling Your Crush You Like Him in the Waning Hours of the Party.”
By engaging the vampiric archetype, Butler and Gomez write black queer lives into an eternal future where we can continue our coalition building, our resistance of hegemony, and the creation of chosen families.
Perhaps for every African speculative fiction novel translated into whatever language, the publisher could publish another African author in their own language.
History treated people like me as curiosities, freaks, and monsters of legend. Human monstrosity is something we've been writing about in SF/F/Spec for as long as genre writing has existed, and that's forever. Writing about myself in those terms, at least in my verse, feels like both reclamation and rebellion. 
Wednesday: Mouthful of Birds by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell 
Friday: Fates and Furies by Christine Lucas 
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
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: