Size / / /

This poem is part of our 2016 fund drive bonus issue! Read more about Strange Horizons' funding model, or donate, here.


Content warning:


It's all tricks, sex, and promises,
that's the marrow of it and no help
for it: we have been swindling
and seducing since we had words
for it, stealing each other blind
and then slipping into each other's
sheets at night. We cannot help

ourselves. There is nothing we like
more than getting the better
of someone, other than getting under
or over them. There is magic,
sometimes, cunning, usually, beasts
and men are often indistinguishable
but nobody pays much mind.

Sometimes people die,
sometimes they marry. Usually
there is some victory, pyrrhic
or otherwise, somebody always
gets their just desserts. Sometimes
there are jokes, or else morals.
Blood is satisfying, as are tears,

among other liquids. Try to escape
this story. It is impossible. It draws you in
with false promises and swallows you whole
and squirming until you are nothing more
than a stock character. You assume the name,
the props, the tribulations. This has all

been told before. It fits you like a glove.




Margaret Wack is a writer, poet, and classicist whose work has been published in Strange Horizons, Liminality, Twisted Moon, and others.  More can be found at margaretwack.com.
Current Issue
12 Apr 2021

The spaces within me both heal and house oracular properties.
By: Morgan L. Ventura
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Morgan L. Ventura
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Morgan L. Ventura's “Dispatch from a Ruin in Mitla, the Town of Souls,” with a reading by the poet.
Do you know the tale of the armless maiden? In most tales, it is only her hands she loses.
Issue 5 Apr 2021
By: Caroline Dinh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 29 Mar 2021
By: Iman Alzaghari
By: Fargo Tbakhi
By: leena aboutaleb
By: Nada Almosa
By: Layla Azmi Goushey
By: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Iman Alzaghari
Podcast read by: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: leena aboutaleb
Podcast read by: Nada Almosa
Podcast read by: Najah Hussein Musa
Podcast read by: Layla Azmi Goushey
Issue 22 Mar 2021
Issue 15 Mar 2021
By: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Isana Skeete
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 8 Mar 2021
By: Lorraine Wilson
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Gerri Leen
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Mar 2021
By: Sasha LaPointe
Podcast read by: Sasha LaPointe
Issue 22 Feb 2021
By: Hal Y. Zhang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 15 Feb 2021
By: Wen-yi Lee
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Feb 2021
By: Varsha Dinesh
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: Sarah Kathryn Moore
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sarah Kathryn Moore
Issue 1 Feb 2021
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Betsy Aoki
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Paul Starr
Load More
%d bloggers like this: