Size / / /

Content warning:

Afternoons, in what he calculates must be spring,
he leans against the little table and draws from memory:
irises, heavy and purple.  In the ship's model library,
species after species bloom on screen.  He chooses
instead to remember, to push against the page
the way petals push back after a bee's launch.
From this angle, the frill of the beard.  From this,
some irregularity of color, as imprecise as


the signal they are chasing is exact.   Sometimes,
he allows himself to look back at a photograph,
his mother, her face half-obscured by a bloom, her face
half-obscured by the expression he knows
as her observation.  This is what calls them out:
not a mother's voice calling out for him to see the spring's
first purple emerging from a tall green stalk,
but some regularity, half-obscured by what is watching.


They have all sought the meaning of the signal.
While he draws, he wonders whether those calling out
will pluck a couple of his shipmates and press them,
petals drying between the pages of an old novel.
Or if they will draw the specimens, time and again,
adding after the life has gone some frills where there were none,
or some greater intensity of color—


                                               Or, if, like the iris,
they will have bloomed for a time, to be caught
in light before the next season consumes them:
the regular pulse of the remaining signal
becoming a picture of a running child, a blur behind
the sharpness of the irises, waiting.

T.D. Walker is the author of the poetry collections Small Waiting Objects (CW Books, 2019), Maps of a Hollowed World (Another New Calligraphy, 2020), and Doubt & Circuitry (Southern Arizona Press, 2023). She hosts and curates poetry programs for shortwave radio, most recently Line Break. Find out more at
Current Issue
22 Apr 2024

We’d been on holiday at the Shoon Sea only three days when the incident occurred. Dr. Gar had been staying there a few months for medical research and had urged me and my friend Shooshooey to visit.
Tu enfiles longuement la chemise des murs,/ tout comme d’autres le font avec la chemise de la mort.
The little monster was not born like a human child, yelling with cold and terror as he left his mother’s womb. He had come to life little by little, on the high, three-legged bench. When his eyes had opened, they met the eyes of the broad-shouldered sculptor, watching them tenderly.
Le petit monstre n’était pas né comme un enfant des hommes, criant de froid et de terreur au sortir du ventre maternel. Il avait pris vie peu à peu, sur la haute selle à trois pieds, et quand ses yeux s’étaient ouverts, ils avaient rencontré ceux du sculpteur aux larges épaules, qui le regardaient tendrement.
We're delighted to welcome Nat Paterson to the blog, to tell us more about his translation of Léopold Chauveau's story 'The Little Monster'/ 'Le Petit Monstre', which appears in our April 2024 issue.
You take your time putting on the shirt of the walls,/ just as others might put on the shirt of death.
Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
Issue 8 Apr 2024
Issue 1 Apr 2024
Issue 25 Mar 2024
By: Sammy Lê
Art by: Kim Hu
Issue 18 Mar 2024
Strange Horizons
Issue 11 Mar 2024
Issue 4 Mar 2024
Issue 26 Feb 2024
Issue 19 Feb 2024
Issue 12 Feb 2024
Load More
%d bloggers like this: