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Here's the thing: you never had a voice before

(merely the suggestion of laughter).

You never had a scent:

until my feet locked

to the pavements of Delos,

until I rooted in the island's chain.

You peeled up out of that mosaic,

tesserae running together,

popped into a third dimension

with one breath of chamomile,

another of sun-warmed parsley.

Inhaled to a form stolen

from my memory:

three gloomy Swedish mysteries

and one superhero film.

You rose up;

I sank down.

You were never blond before Delos,

with curls mad enough to suit even you,


and me smashed like the ruins around us.

You rose up, lord,

and stretched me transparent:

feet inside Greek earth,

herb-maddened head back home.

No god of delight risen from stone

will be gentle.

I live to dream but cannot sleep—

the god's horse,

ridden long;

ink stains my fingers and sheets,

but it is not the words, lord,

it is the narcoleptic worship.

Fevered days,


seeking shade under notebooks:

you stand in the sun,

in the shape you made for me,

and there is your hand,


My answer is yes, lord.

My answer is yes.

Virginia M. Mohlere ( was born on one solstice, and her sister was born on the other. Her chronic writing disorder stems from early childhood. She is an assistant editor of Scheherezade's Bequest. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in Cabinet des Fées, Scheherazade's Bequest, Mythic Delirium, Goblin Fruit, and Everyday Weirdness, among others. She can usually be found with ink stains on her fingers and tea stains on her shirt.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
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