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welcome, stranger! welcome, stranger!
first, rest your weary eyes; first, rest your weary eyes;
then choose your door: then choose your door:
it matters not which, it matters not which,
for—just as one skeleton for—just as one skeleton
is the same as another— is the same as another—
these, too, are almost the same, these, too, are almost the same,
leading you to one room. leading you to one room.
come in, and come in, come in, and come in,
you are welcome here! you are welcome here!
on that singular chair, sit: on that singular chair, sit:
and I will tell you a secret. and I will tell you a secret.
you must divide yourself you must divide yourself
from yourself, and submit, from yourself, and submit,
to find what was never to find what was never
meant to be found: meant to be found:
a third room, in a third room, in
the two-room suite the two-room suite


Lucy Harlow grew up in England and Hong Kong, and currently lives in Philadelphia. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Strange Horizons, Aliterate, Bracken, and others. She is a PhD candidate in the English department at Princeton. Her website is www.lucyharlow.com.
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4 Mar 2024

Sometimes among the fish and crabs, we trawl squid and octopus, or little sharks, all added to the pots. Sometimes it’s a fish person, a thing we cut free and do not talk of, pretend we never saw. Today, it is part of a god.
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