Size / / /

Death tastes like this:
the wood varnish of the door you have closed
copper sparking off your teeth
a mouthful of gravel from the first time you fell
cold snow that tastes like nothing at all.
a mouthful of rain, iron against the tongue
your breath burning in the back of your throat as you run
the sweat of your endless pain.
the dust of the Desert where you can never return
and the smell of the sea you will never sail again . . .

Death smells like this:
ash and burned hair, something you call charcoal,
his cologne, the warm, weak tea he loved to drink.
electricity arcing across your fingertips as you touch steel
like your heart skipping when his gaze touches you.
fire: burning oxygen, boiling wine
and incense you do not remember lighting.
blood of course; yours and his mingling
until you don't know whose is whose
until there is only one body, with too many bones, some outside
and you must find a way to put it back together
with parts of yourself you only just killed.

Death looks like this:
his eyes, a different color, looking back from your reflection
in a face neither of you recognize
though only you can remember what faces you used to have.
everything being too small, too close to the ground
awkwardly shaped for some other occupant with a different name
and a closet with too much burgundy and not enough gray.
a white-walled room, a skinny brown desk, a green quilt
a little window that does not look out towards the sea.
the battered black upright that plays songs from the motherland
when you close your eyes and your hands move without thinking.
the stars, so cold, so distant, so unknowing
who do not acknowledge you when you call to them.
seeing nothing, when you close your eyes
except the other man who is now also yourself.

 




Lev Mirov is a disabled mixed race Filipino-American who feeds the ghosts of Antietam when it rains. He lives with his spouse and writing partner Aleksei I. Valentin and is preparing their first book, The God of Small Things, for release in early 2017. For more of his poetry, recent or upcoming short fiction, and the book, read at levmirov.wordpress.com or follow on Twitter at @thelionmachine.
Current Issue
23 Mar 2020

We had never seen naked men do what we did.
True allies, then, know when to support people by being there and by not being there. Safe spaces provide community, openness, and respite.
For this first quarterly roundup of speculative fiction, put together in such difficult times, Maria Haskins' unofficial theme is hope and happiness, resilience and resistance.
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Mar 2020
By: Innocent Chizaram Ilo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Cam Kelley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: DAPENHA
Issue 24 Feb 2020
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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
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