Size / / /

You use

an instrument of tusk,

of yellow tooth,

imperfections filed

into ghost.

They are invisible, to most.

Your fingers know.

I know your fingers.

I know them in the salt-sea.

I know them, charcoal-smudged,

smelling of smoke.

I know them pulped by fruit,

still wet with sea,

the sweet and the sour.

With this object,

your spider-fingers take

from wires hidden

in a box.

You transform

a swell of notes.

The stars, a silence, a sudden

dive and then a thunderstorm

- and now I have forgotten

how to take my skin off

like a lady's dovegray glove

and put it back on

as purple as the stomach of a flea.

To run like a deer.

To hide like a hay stalk in a hay stack.

All I can do

is root,

and snarl, and feel my thoughts

tangle and cross, grow green leaves,

   edged like teeth

and dense with veins.

All I can do is snarl, tangled

heavily across this chair,

and cling to the wall.

At least I have thorns,

although I open wide, whiter than silk

and redder than thread.

Despite my head,

I blossom like fire from a match.

I forget

how to shed

this shape:

When you close the lid,

and take your fingers from the monster's teeth,

and come to pluck me,

scatter my petals

so that I will never grow again—

I hope you bleed.




Jessica P. Wick is a writer and freelance editor living in Rhode Island. She enjoys rambling through graveyards and writing by candlelight. Her poetry may be found scattered across the internet. Her novella “An Unkindness” is out June 2020 in A Sinister Quartet from Mythic Delirium. Other dark fiction may be found in Rigor Morbid: Lest Ye Become from Bronzeville Books.
Current Issue
20 Sep 2021

Jaysee reported to decontamination, wondering why there hadn’t been a revolt by the augmented long before.
By: Clara Ward
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
In this episode of the Strange Horizons fiction podcast, editor Kat Kourbeti presents Clara Ward's "Motivation Augmentation."
"When we die again, I want to come back as a little brown bat," / I tell the only other person alive.
Art by: Courtney Skaggs
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Courtney Skaggs' “The Little Death After the Apocalypse.”
Friday: The Fall of Koli by M. R. Carey 
Issue 13 Sep 2021
By: Steve Castro
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Sep 2021
By: Yuna Kang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Yuna Kang
By: B. Pladek
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 30 Aug 2021
By: Ian Goh
By: Andy Winter
By: Yong-Yu Huang
By: Sunny Vuong
By: Natalie Wang
By: Mark Dimaisip
By: Yvanna Vien Tica
By: Jack Kin Lim
By: May Chong
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Ian Goh
Podcast read by: Yong-Yu Huang
Podcast read by: Sunny Vuong
Podcast read by: Natalie Wang
Podcast read by: Mark Dimaisip
Podcast read by: Yvanna Vien Tica
Podcast read by: Jack Kin Lim
Podcast read by: May Chong
Podcast read by: P. H. Low
Issue 23 Aug 2021
By: Hannah V Warren
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Aug 2021
By: Bryce A. Taylor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Bryce A. Taylor
Issue 9 Aug 2021
By: P. H. Low
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 3 Aug 2021
By: H. Pueyo
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: M. Regan
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 26 Jul 2021
By: Mary Soon Lee
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Mary Soon Lee
Issue 19 Jul 2021
By: Ian Rosales Casocot
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Nora Claire Miller
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nora Claire Miller
Issue 12 Jul 2021
By: Dante Novario
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Dante Novario
Podcast: Data Migration 
Load More
%d bloggers like this: