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Someone is tossing fish from the roofs
and you, you swim the violent current
down Broadway towards Central Park

past steel hot dog carts and rusted fish caves
once garbage bins brimming with takeout boxes.
Perched atop a drowned oak tree,
Alice and the Mad Hatter ask about the state of the markets.

When the helicopters shred the sky
they will ask if you are here for the light show
and for proper identification,

cash is also acceptable.
The annual burning of the older houses
brings the wealthier crowds on their fancy

foam noodles, rubber hands built
with waterproof cameras
they only like the old houses,

those rusted gates and
outdated number plates,
when they burn.

Here come the sirens,
those jazz songs that warn of the waves, the breached seawall
Sinatra always plays on payday.

The tourists are never ready for the skyscrapers,
their windows crashing against rocks, until the shoreline
dots with gray sea glass, the marble stairs of the library
a hill of preening sea birds

When They invented the boats, we knew the worst was over
it had to be, so what more could we do but celebrate
a body that no longer needed to swim?



Angela Liu is a Chinese-American writer based in NYC and Tokyo. Her work is published/forthcoming in Strange Horizons, The Dark, and Nightmare Magazine. When not writing, she’s taming a feral toddler and navigating the demonic world of IT consulting. She can be found on Twitter at @liu_angela.
Current Issue
15 Aug 2022

You turned and Hailé was hunched by the counter, holding the Rift in his bare stomach together with his hands.
Their eyes trace the curves of our gears / like birds eyeing the shoreline and we / recite the songs our makers wrote
During recess, we would fight all the time.
Wednesday: Braking Day by Adam Oyebanji 
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