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Sobek, the crocodile-headed God of the Nile,
does not take that form here.
Here he’s a ‘gator, a thicker snout
and less aggressive than his toothy cousin.

Our Sobek is mellow, jazz-drunk,
clawed toes slow-stirring thick, murky bayous.

We never held Second Line for the Quarter,
just packed what wasn’t moldy or soggy and left.

We fled north, but still the water,
mud-brown, brackish and slick with silt creeps up and up
from our drowned cities in the south,
where skyscraper foundations rot in floating meadows of
Giant Salvinia, water hyacinth and hydrilla.

Sobek, God of the Flood, followed
taking his rest on Cypress limbs
tangled with Spanish Moss.

Reluctant to leave the land named Home,
we stopped just short of the state line,
a place we never thought to visit and once snickered,
“They might as well be Texans.”

Welcomed into a city already bloated with evacuees,
the people were hospitable, friendly,
but we are the guests who overstayed
and this time the water will not recede.

When our hosts realized we could not go back,
their smiles stiffened and shrank.
Homes and shelters closed as stores ran low.

But in arms and ammunition,
we all are awash in bounty.

Sobek, circles the perimeter of our lives,
his only prey the land.
He floats into the shallows that run for miles now,
squelches onto the bank in the hot, sullen darkness
and waits.

Loretta Casteen is a writer and artist in Shreveport, LA. Her publishing credits include Woman’s World, Pregnancy Magazine, Angels On Earth, Twisted Boulevard, and Strange Horizons, among others. Her collection of short stories and poems, Children of Elder Time, is available for Kindle download.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Wednesday: The Best of World SF, Volume 1, edited by Lavie Tidhar 
Friday: Anti-Life by Vee Tat Lam 
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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