Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:



when i was a kid i was an asshole to my cousin—

me, with a mole the size of the moon sitting beneath my left nostril.

he, 6 years younger than me, taking speech classes.

he always pronounced yellow, lell-low

i died laughing,

then died a second time when he tried to say it again.

my brothers and i called him big nostrils;

those things were the size of hula hoops.

we all died, went to heaven and came back when his nostrils flared when he talked.

eventually he didn’t want to talk anymore,

and i made fun of him until he became mute.

 

i’m 27 years old now—

me, a grown man taking speech therapy,

not because my speech got crumbled up because of a car accident or a near-death stroke.

but i left out the part

where i was ridiculed by everyone else for the mammoth size mole beneath my left nostril.

people pointed and said yeww that big booger beneath your nose;

they pointed until my eyes followed my shoe laces.

i altered the way i said words so the mole wouldn’t move that much

so i wouldn’t stand out like a black flower in a red rose bed.

 

life is just like those hula hoops,

and things come around full circle sometimes.

 

my cousin is 21 now—

he, a tall thing of confidence and can talk anyone’s ear off

while i can barely get my own name out right to people.

now look who’s talking?



Oak Morse is a poet, speaker, and teacher who has traveled across the Southeast as a performance poet as well as a teacher of literary poetry. He has a Bachelor of Journalism from Georgia State University. He is the winner of the 2017 Magpie Award for Poetry for the poem “Garbage Disposal” in Issue 16 of Pulp Literature. Other work of his has appeared in the UndergroundPage and Spine, Fourth & Sycamore, DrylandUniversity of Canberra, and Patch. Oak currently lives in Houston, Texas, where he works on his poetry collection titled When the Tongue Goes Bad, a themed set of work aimed to bring attention to a contemporary speech disorder diagnosis known as “cluttering,” a diagnosis which Oak has worked tirelessly to overcome. You can find more of his work at www.oakmorse.com.
Current Issue
6 Jul 2020

And they all knew about it.
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Stephen O'Donnell's “Last Orders in the Green Lane.”
Landing feels like getting off a trampoline, / The weightlessness fading to muscle memory
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Thomas White's “After.”
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Strange Horizons
Issue 25 May 2020
By: Dana Wilde
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 18 May 2020
By: Johnny Compton
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jong-Ki Lim
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Raimo Kangasniemi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: