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I learned a new language today,
       one comprised
             of fragrances:

       each word a combination of
morphemes of scent,

the head note, mid note, and heart note
       forming footholds of syntax.

I tried to recreate you in this language.

I distilled your smile into
       the sweetness of lychee, placed it
       in the head note: always the first part of you
that I notice.

In the mid note I placed
       lemongrass and tobacco,
             warm and spiced, resonant in the air,
       a scent that embraces me, clings to my red dress,
             says in your golden tones:
       I’m here for you.

And into the heart I breathed
those heavier notes:
       the gunsmoke that chases ever after you,
             the silver that burns against your skin,
                   the musk of something wild, untamed.

It’s you, almost—then I realize
       what’s missing:

the word we share
       that fills my lungs,
lingers sweet on my tongue,

       too large
for only one sense.



S. Qiouyi Lu writes, translates, and edits between two coasts of the Pacific. Their fiction and poetry has appeared in Asimov’s, F&SF, and Strange Horizons, and their translations have appeared in Clarkesworld. They edit the flash fiction and poetry magazine Arsenika. You can find out more about S. at their website, s.qiouyi.lu.
Current Issue
3 Oct 2022

Lying in bed last night I felt fingers reach in, grabbing. I opened in spite of myself as you clawed me with your fingernails, flattened, panicked. Split throat, iron tongue, white masks ranged overhead, the rings on their fingers scraping me as they reached in to take you.
from my tower we climb, shroud as my veil. We leap on his fae steed
I tell smug Cyclops that I’m as gay as the next mutant, and that all mutants find themselves within battles
Get ready to feel hungry, because the theme for this quarterly roundup is food.
Friday: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo 
Issue 26 Sep 2022
Issue 21 Sep 2022
Issue 12 Sep 2022
Issue 5 Sep 2022
Issue 29 Aug 2022
By: Cat T.
Issue 22 Aug 2022
Issue 15 Aug 2022
Issue 8 Aug 2022
Issue 1 Aug 2022
Issue 18 Jul 2022
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