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The first time that morning, your face stole
from rasps lanterned: chariot of sun

racing gold in the glare of rays, shaking
patterns meant for your wing-tipped hull. Here,

the slept lion in my peer through forest's wrench
when woken. Your men slick with spear grease

and battle have mangled my wounds; bouquet to bruise.
So much for a lover’s touch in dropped shards

of rain, so much for laughter at a lorikeet’s prattle
when tender struck vulpine on skin. For you, the hiss

of curves. I stood there under your shadow. Proud
with breaths clinched of mist. For you, the whiting swan

of heart, ever pure. Never tell I must inveigle if I am to procure
only woes, only brutes of my own; for the seraph
that I was before rabid; trapped with fangs feisty.
Once I loved past fathoms, past feral.

Once and for all, you had me damned darkling, childless—
bedtimed like the forever stiffness of a corpse.



Rushda Rafeek serves as a Fiction Editor for The Missing Slate magazine.  Her works have appeared / are forthcoming in Yellow Chair Review, Visual Verse, Through the Gate, and Noble/Gas Quarterly, among others.  She is currently based in Sri Lanka.
Current Issue
11 Oct 2021

Back then, a nail to the neck meant a man wanted you as his wife.
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
In this episode of the Strange Horizons fiction podcast, editor Kat Kourbeti presents Lisabelle Tay's "Surat Dari Hantu".
GREEN is the color of everything sexy in this world. / you PINK up the telephone and say, YELLOW! call us
Friday: From a Shadow Grave by Andi C. Buchanan 
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
4 Oct 2021
If you want to donate, or check how close we are to unlocking another story, poem, review, or essay, here's the link.
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Harun 
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
Issue 27 Sep 2021
By: Mary Robles
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Sep 2021
By: Clara Ward
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Art by: Courtney Skaggs
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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
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