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In every scene from the alternate world
where skyscrapers are just inches away from
the ground,
curtailed by
the ever-growing Christmas trees, I'm a
good son,

& every mom thinks I arrived into my first morning
with enough motherly delight. I'm not going to
ruin their imagination, of course, what is the ruin
in telling the truth about
the machine
that we've now become;

a device whose cursor-hands point only to the
good reviews of the app from where
we hacked into this place? The point is: our cosmos is growing
into a bright castle,
almost into a milky world,
& to say that at least,
my mother is still my mother is the
only fact I owe you all.

The truth is:
she does not have

to bend into a ceramic plate to carry us beautifully, & my father
isn't the hand that will break her.

For the first time since 2080, we can all agree
that a god must not always beautify wreckage
to make it happen. At least, we've seen
to the end that there is—

ever-growing & humming,
it seems to browse us over again in
different engines.

Nwuguru Chidiebere Sullivan (he/him/his) is a speculative writer of Izzi, Abakaliki ancestry; a Medical Laboratory Science student whose works have been nominated for the Forward Prize, the Pushcart Prize, and the Best of The Net Award. He was the winner of Write About Now’s Cookout Literary Prize. He has works published or forthcoming at Ink Sweat & Tears, Augur Mag, Sand Journal, Mudroom Mag, Bracken Mag, The Shore Poetry, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, The Deadlands, West Trade Review, No Contact, The Fourth River, and elsewhere. He is fond of his poorly-lit room from where he tweets @wordpottersull1.
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20 Mar 2023

Strange Horizons will be open to fiction submissions on April 26th, 2023, at 9 a.m. UTC! To keep our response times manageable and submission windows more frequent, there will be a 1,000-story cap on submissions.
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