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“i planted the seed in my breast
and in its yearning to sprout
an unbearable pain took root
in my pain, i rejected everything, your love, and compassion even,

i devoured it all, not knowing, not wanting to see the bud
growing in my heart and when it had grown enough, blinded
by its red, that i thought boredom,
depression, anger, i cut it out meself,
and instead of trampling the rose like i expected, ya plucked it out
of the mud it had fallen into, and ya replaced it in my lap,

when i was in this wheelchair for the nth time of the year

“don’t look at me in the eyes,”
ya always told me, “it burns,”
ya once continued...

this time though, i did and i
saw the pain being reflected
back at me, as in a mirror,
none the wiser, i thought it only mine

it was only when i noticed the rose, just about to crumble,
on yer back, that i started to understand that ya were pained too”

“we both came a long way since then, didn’t we?
one of respect and understanding...”

“—curiosity too!”

“hey, do ya remember?

the first time we met, we were both having check-ups done,
me for my monthly routine of my fucked up body
ya for yer HRT blood tests and fucked tonus,
each thought the other the belle, not believing
the luck we had to cross paths as we did, well after”

“born or turned a monster,
it doesn’t matter
we’ll still have each other’s back
and love for one another
after all,

I’m Charybde and ya’re Scylla,”
“beast and belle all at once, we both are”
“beauty is the beast, right?”



Milouchkna weaves words, sometimes. She adores sweet stuff, pu-erh, and sequential art. She aspires to restore all things paper, and wants to start drawing. This peculiar disabled trans aro lesbiche bookworm disaster lives with her pets somewhere in France, near a valley of castles, and can be found on twitter @milouchkna and on tumblr at nephaba.tumblr.com/xiv.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Wednesday: The Best of World SF, Volume 1, edited by Lavie Tidhar 
Friday: Anti-Life by Vee Tat Lam 
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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