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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
28 Oct 2019

crest the hill on my courser black as bee stripes / with honey in my eyes.
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Kelly Stewart's “The Bandit King” with a reading by poet.
Orcs are a species—more commonly labeled a “race”—of wicked, dangerous humanoids found en masse in JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth as well as most of analog and electronic gaming. But Tolkien derived their ugly appearance and savage temperament, like almost all orcish traits common across different media, from a long and painful history.
Friday: The Outside by Ada Hoffman 
Issue 21 Oct 2019
By: Omar William Sow
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Amy H. Robinson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Oct 2019
By: Kevin Wabaunsee
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Oct 2019
By: Charles Payseur
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Davian Aw
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Sep 2019
By: Kali de los Santos
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Heitor Zen
Podcast read by: Julia Quandt
By: Sérgio Motta
Podcast read by: Sérgio Motta
By: Isa Prospero
Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
,
Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Sep 2019
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
Issue 9 Sep 2019
By: Shiv Ramdas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Sarah Shirley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Aug 2019
Brazil Special Issue call for fiction submissions!
Issue 26 Aug 2019
By: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Aug 2019
By: S. R. Mandel
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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