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I ate a poem today
after a long consideration
on how to prepare it
use ingredients at hand
or wait for another stage of ripeness
slice several soft spots away
or caress where the sweetness gathers

Its unfamiliar skin and mottled, shifting colors
gave no hints of the flesh within
should I refrigerate and eat it chilled
room tempered or warmed
would it be mango, or banana
to be mashed and cooked
if under or overdone
too far gone for raw yet salvageable

I peeled it with my fingers
sucked transluscent skin, juice ran
into my Franciscan saucer
put a cautious tongue to its body
and it dribbled on my chin

My tastebuds lit with tart pleasure
my incisors grew, my tongue elongated
to touch the flowered dish, I drooled

My stomach clenched from the swallowed bite
a little too much, a heavy stone dropped
into a deep well whose splash
is a distant song echoing
up from dark toward light

With one chew, saffron and chocolate
with another, passionfruit and lime
layers of fragrance unfolded
aromas thick textured blood wine

After the mess, I became fully divine
wing bladed shoulders, feet root tethered
though now third eyed and feathered

I felt succored, satiated, sublime.




Akua Lezli Hope's manuscript, Them Gone, won Red Paint Hill's Editor's Prize and will be published in 2016.  She won the Science Fiction Poetry Association's 2015 short poem award. Her awards include fellowships from NYFA, Ragdale, Hurston Wright and the NEA. She has published more than 100 crochet patterns.
Current Issue
27 Jan 2020

Oozing dripping grey tentacles maim & rip open everyone at the party while you & I keep vaping out here by the garage.
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Weston Richey's “Disemboweled Sonnet for Telling Your Crush You Like Him in the Waning Hours of the Party.”
By engaging the vampiric archetype, Butler and Gomez write black queer lives into an eternal future where we can continue our coalition building, our resistance of hegemony, and the creation of chosen families.
Perhaps for every African speculative fiction novel translated into whatever language, the publisher could publish another African author in their own language.
History treated people like me as curiosities, freaks, and monsters of legend. Human monstrosity is something we've been writing about in SF/F/Spec for as long as genre writing has existed, and that's forever. Writing about myself in those terms, at least in my verse, feels like both reclamation and rebellion. 
Friday: Fates and Furies by Christine Lucas 
Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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