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after Elise Matthesen

He should be ice in a northern garden,

a moss-flanked marble whose fingers cling

as stilly to his flute-stops as last night's rain

between the bowing heads of roses,

sheltered forever by a symbolist's afternoon

from November and the winter's stripping chill,

yet here he lounges in an abstract of boxwood

and holly, under a slate-lid sky,

the black of his pelt like the soft lees of Setinum,

his horns as sweetly whorled as pinecones,

a gold annealing in the slots of his eyes.

His throat like oiled olive, his warm arms smell

not of rut and vinegar, but resin and stillness

disturbed, the hot light filtering on the beeches

and river-veins, the muddied onyx

of one hoof jinks: and if I cry

ὁ μέγας Πὰν τέθνηκεν, he will fall

like the curvetting of aspen leaves, to plain air,

the piper at the gates of sunset,

a wind-topped, tuneless reed.

But if it sang out true from Paxi to Palodes,

mourning, exultant —that voice of dying gods—

who haunts my path like a heart's missed beat,

holm-oak, stone pine, the dark stelae of cypress

glimpsed out of shot from clipped corners of yew,

whose wordless mouth reels modes of ivy in?

The little wind frets the hedges in their fading,

bellies a spider's shell-strung caul: a sibyl.

The faun in the summer of the world smiles,

too late to uninvoke, growing home.




Sonya Taaffe's short fiction and poetry can be found in the collections Ghost Signs (Aqueduct Press), A Mayse-Bikhl (Papaveria Press), Postcards from the Province of Hyphens (Prime Books), and Singing Innocence and Experience (Prime Books), and in various anthologies including The Humanity of Monsters, Genius Loci: Tales of the Spirit of Place, and Dreams from the Witch House: Female Voices of Lovecraftian Horror. She holds master's degrees in Classics from Brandeis and Yale and once named a Kuiper belt object. She lives in Somerville with her husband and two cats.
Current Issue
2 Jun 2020

Our editors have seen a massive increase in submissions from writers since the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to be able to read and publish that work.
We didn’t want your nail clippings or your blood. Your laughter, or tears, would do.
They say that the Voyagers will outlast us for billions of years.
as if I wouldn’t wish to get all my deaths over with at once instead of waiting in dirt
In place of fear that they will lose control, the posthumans accept that control was never in their grasp and that the natural world extends beyond their reach and that nature has a beauty that is beyond the human.
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
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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
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Shuyi Yin
By: Nome Emeka Patrick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
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