Size / / /

Leonid hears the knock on the door,

Puts the final touches on the potato salad.

It's Antropov, bearing a casserole,

He beams and shakes a sun-warm hand:

Mikhailovich, it's good to see you.

It's funny how quickly habits can be learned

He thinks, as the coats swell up in the closet.

Hundreds of slim, luminescent gentlemen

All talking about the weather.

Markov is holding court by the punchbowl:

He chose to go into politics.

The papers called his rise meteoric,

And everyone had a good laugh.

It's a pleasant, star-bright afternoon:

Generations mingle and whisper in tongues.

Leonid is a good host, a busy host.

He has no time to feel alone.

No time to think: wife, mother, aunt, family

Child.

When the crowds of relatives take flight again

He washes the dishes and sits on the porch

Binoculars in hand, staring at the sky.

Beams of light, sparks of light, shooting into the

atmosphere.

They say it's burning gas.

It has been three years since he himself fell.

Every night he takes his coffee outside.

Maybe if he waits long enough

A pitted, ironhard chunk of metal-rock

Will fall into his backyard.

Maybe it will split, cocoonlike, into dust

And birth a boy, a glowing boy,

A boy with a Russian nose.

Then he could smile, and shake his hand

Leonid Mikhailovich the Second.

Teach him how to keep the glowing down,

Fix his lunch and read him bedtime stories:

Once there was a man who came from the stars.




Leah Bobet's most recent novel, An Inheritance of Ashes, won the Sunburst, Copper Cylinder, and Prix Aurora Awards, and her short fiction has appeared in multiple Year's Best anthologies. She lives and works in Toronto, where she picks urban apple trees, builds civic engagement spaces, and makes large amounts of jam. Visit her at www.leahbobet.com.
Current Issue
18 May 2020

“Have you seen the DEATH/GRIP Challenge meme?” Benito Oliveira said. “Yeah, it’s pretty funny,” she said. “It’s people pretending not to kill something with their off hand,” he said, as though she hadn’t responded.
By: Johnny Compton
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Johnny Compton's “The DEATH/GRIP Challenge.”
One spring day, My grandfather caught the universe that just revived.
By: Jong-Ki Lim
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jong-Ki Lim's “The Fall of Snakes.”
Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Raimo Kangasniemi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Shuyi Yin
By: Nome Emeka Patrick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: