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The only time we’ve ever held hands
was during the two-step
at a powwow at the high school
gymnasium, medicine wheel flags
competing with ol’ glory’s violent clatter,
the aroma of tangy venison aching
against the pervasive scent
of steamed broccoli
and government-regulation pizza.

When we watched the Duck Dance
you explained to me that we did not
dance in the name of waterfowl,
though we preened
and fussed with our hair,
oily feathers cropped short
and close to the scalp.

But for our only dance we
dipped and hopped
on one foot as the emcee
called, laughing between
fancy shawls and jingle dresses,
shimmering rainbows of brown
and green. Wet trouts, us out
of water, out of place—

my skin a shade too light for a tribal ID,
yours dark with the Aztec love
of death and vultures.

I imagined we were wedded
beneath the arc of clasped hands
bangled with beaded spring flora.
That our flower girl would sprinkle
tobacco leaves instead of rose petals
before you plucked me apart
with your blood-smudged claws.
That we would be gifted the names
we’d yearned for our whole lives.

But you are a boy
who likes boys and I
am a something that likes
everyone and I am picked
over before the drumming even ends.




Halee Kirkwood is a recent graduate of Northland College and will be soon attending Hamline University’s MFA program. Kirkwood also served as an editor for Aqueous Magazine, a Lake Superior region Literary & Performing Arts magazine. You can often find Kirkwood haunting the Twin Cities Metro Transit, staring out of windows and daydreaming about what secrets the roadside plants keep.
Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
半透明の大江さんが洗面所から出てきて、いつもと同じようにテーブルに向かう。見えない食パンにバターを塗り、見えない新聞を片手に頰張る。まるでパントマイムだ。私はフローリングの床に座り込み、一連の動作を眺めた。
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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