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When you awoke from surgery,
you’d forgotten your first name.
I kept my hands on guard,
protecting the white paper—
stiff as old bones—from your eyes.
I kept my mouth sewn shut,
forsaking the memory of when we first met
and you were still someone else:

You, on stage, in a suit with a blood red tie
inspired by Poppy Z. Brite. You wanted to be a
psychic vampire, stealing the souls of
the men who had come before you.
Instead, you were a Drag King dream
I had that night, as the same blood
around your neck greeted me between my legs.

Eventually, we met. Cold street lamps
and the smell of tungsten by the science lab.
“They can synthesize hormones now,” you said, your
words an electrical fire. “I’m going on hormones.
I have not existed until this night.
Everything else was a performance.”
But the King, even under a dead name, was real.
Months passed as you swallowed a new
kind of ore and allowed your body
to transform. I watched as the blood red tie
became a blood red scar across your body.
I watched as your skin took on new life.

We reigned between the sheets. We existed,
together, as a tangle of chemicals,
for six months until the letter comes,
and all dreams are lowered down like a
drawbridge for a castle. Noon, Monday, on
St. George’s Day—the surgery is set.
Darkness takes you over. I am left on the
linoleum alone, a battlefield. I rise beyond
the smoke-filled alleyways, reeking of resin,
& become blades sharper than swords.

I am your knight, now. Not your lover.
I will guard you from the siege of surgeons
reminding you of your past lives as you come to.
I am your devotee, your patron, your loyal subject
revelling and honouring at the foot of your bed.
My love, my land, my King—I will take you away
from this landfill of disorders & wounds,
wrap a blood red tie around your neck,
& sing the song as the only thing you need to remember.



Eve Morton is a writer living in Ontario, Canada. She teaches university and college classes on media studies, academic writing, and genre literature, among other topics. She likes forensic science through the simplified lens of TV, and philosophy through the cinematic lens of Richard Linklator. Find more information on authormorton.wordpress.com.
Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
半透明の大江さんが洗面所から出てきて、いつもと同じようにテーブルに向かう。見えない食パンにバターを塗り、見えない新聞を片手に頰張る。まるでパントマイムだ。私はフローリングの床に座り込み、一連の動作を眺めた。
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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