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in the normal course of abnormal events
we can’t stop helping each other
the last of the water
gone to the neighbor’s daughter
I give her an hour
two at most

and when she’s free
as sunlight is free
of the glare of sand
we’ll face our own freedom

the camels and goats
grown thin and frail
will soon stop producing
their weak milk
the malformed figs taste of sand
the dunes move
each day we shift our camp of people
thrown together by these events

we had heard
of the many ways a world
can end

the sky remains its painful blue
the cold stars seem bitter
are we to eat sand?
drink the wind?

those few of us that recall
the sound of thunder
the power of rains
sound like liars to the young.



Joanne Merriam is the publisher at Upper Rubber Boot Books. She is a new American living in Nashville, having immigrated from Nova Scotia. She most recently edited Broad Knowledge: 35 Women Up To No Good, and her own poetry has appeared in dozens of places including Asimov's, The Fiddlehead, Grain, and previously in Strange Horizons.
Roger Dutcher lives in Wisconsin, where he enjoys jazz, wine, and poetry. His poetry has appeared in Asimov’s, Modern Haiku, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. He is the co-founder, and editor, of The Magazine of Speculative Poetry. He was awarded a Rhysling from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA).
Current Issue
24 Jun 2024

I am a little sad that story has ended, even though I could have been the target
The Rise of Speculative Poetry 
Strange Horizons
Speculative poetry has the power to detach and disarm, to tease and pull, to play and emancipate.
We are all harmonic oscillators / Sloshing around in watery bags of salt,
Monday: Festival & Game of the Worlds by César Aira 
Wednesday: Island Witch by Amanda Jayatissa 
Friday: The Silverblood Promise by James Logan 
Issue 17 Jun 2024
Issue 10 Jun 2024
Issue 9 Jun 2024
A Tale of Moths and Home (of bones and breathing) (of extrinsic restrictive lung disease) 
Phonetics of Draconic Languages 
Critical Friends Episode 11: Boundaries in Genre 
Issue 3 Jun 2024
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Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
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