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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’s poems and stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Web Conjunctions, The Cascadia Subduction Zone, Luna Station Quarterly, and elsewhere. 
Current Issue
9 Dec 2019

“Full ahead, Mister Sal,” says Moore. I grit my teeth and force the Anastasis forward. The engines, the strongest of any ship I’ve ever steered, screech and whine like dying things. The nightgaunts are ten deep around us and it’s like flying through tar.
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents SL Harris's “Into the Eye.”
I stand in a cell for suffrage.
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessy Randall's “Mary Agnes Chase (1869-1963).”
Wednesday: Sharp and Sugar Tooth edited by Octavia Cade 
Friday: David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa 
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
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Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
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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
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Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
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Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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