Size / / /

I woke for a woman all tooth and whispered want. Like the oven she was

warm when met and cold when done. She was second cousin to God. She

kneaded me, and her fingers spanned the sun.

But then she chopped and cut. Nonplussed, I ran

away from the kitchen smell of cinnamon and cayenne, away from the

bedroom smell of thrust and come. Road iced with foxglove, with horse,

pig, cook, and cook's man. Never mind pursuit. I've no need for breath.

I'm faster than. Run, run, run, as fast as you can.

The river glints, a knife in the land.

The fox waiting there is wild laughter: is to ashes as petals are to

dust. Fur to blossom to this pure, this perfect, lust. Pursuit

clamors. Wind chews the water. Her eyes are the sun as she speaks of

trust. I leap onto her back, telling myself, perhaps to truly love

you have to risk being undone.




Joanne Merriam is the publisher at Upper Rubber Boot Books. She is a new American living in Nashville, having immigrated from Nova Scotia. She most recently edited Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good, and her own poetry has appeared in dozens of places including Asimov's, The Fiddlehead, Grain, and previously in Strange Horizons.
Current Issue
26 Sep 2022

Would a Teixcalaanli aristocrat look up at the sky, think of Lsel Station, and wonder—with Auden—"what doubtful act allows/ Our freedom in this English house/ our picnics in the sun"?
I propose that The Expanse and its ilk present us with a similar sentiment, in reverse—a warning that for all the promise of futurism and technological advancement, plenty of new, and perhaps much worse futures are right before us. In the course of outrunning la vieux monde, we may find that we are awaited not simply by new worlds to win, but also many more which may yet be lost.
where oil slurped up out of the dirt, they drink the coffee
Science fiction is a genre that continues to struggle with its own colonialist history, of which many of its portrayals of extractivism are a part. Science fiction is also a genre that has a history of being socially progressive and conscious – these are both truths.
Bring my stones, my bones, back to me
If we are to accept that the extractive unconscious is latent, is everywhere, part of everything, but unseen and unspoken, and killing us in our waking lives, then science fiction constitutes its dreams.
they are quoting Darwish at the picket & i am finally breathing again
Waste is profoundly shaping and changing our society and our way of living. Our daily mundane world always treats waste as a hidden structure, together with its whole ecosystem, and places it beyond our sight, to maintain the glories of contemporary life. But unfortunately, some are advantaged by this, while others suffer.
Like this woman, I am carrying the world on my back.
So we’re talking about a violence that supplants the histories of people and things, scrubbing them clean so that they can fuel the oppressive and unequal status quo it sustains.
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