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It was fine until the shuttles from HQ
Stopped coming and my art supplies ran low
A painter has to paint so I had to get creative
Had to source locally
Yes, lots of things here are toxic
We live in a bubble where we
Grow our own food and
Make textiles from the leavings
But surely a little paint
Wouldn’t hurt anyone?
Blue from a local shell
Ground fine outside so the dust
Wouldn’t contaminate the HVAC
Red from the clay under the northern
Mountain and yellow from the rocks
Littering the face
Stabilized with local water
I prefer oils to watercolors but needs must
The new colors were beautiful
And if I’d had a sealant, some clear, thick resin
Perhaps, it would have been all right

I found out how long it would take
For the local offerings to kill us
When I hung the first painting
In Camden’s quarters—a surprise birthday gift
I meant to make him happy
And he was for a day or two
Until the illness set in
Nobody looked twice at my painting
Nobody thought to question why
I’d changed techniques
He died, slowly and horribly and
I never said a word
I just took the painting from his quarters and
Destroyed it once I got outside
I don’t paint anymore
Okay? I don't paint anymore
I’m sorry and I miss him and I miss
Art too and someday, if a ship ever
Comes back, I’m going to go home and the
First thing I’ll paint will be his portrait
Made with oils, not water—what color is regret?



Gerri Leen is a Pushcart- and Rhysling-nominated poet from Northern Virginia who's into horse racing, tea, collecting encaustic art and raku pottery, and making weird one-pan meals. She has poetry published or accepted by The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Dark Matter, Dreams & Nightmares, Liquid Imagination, NewMyths.com, and others. Visit gerrileen.com to see what she's been up to.
Current Issue
9 May 2022

The star flickered. Then, just for an instant, the flicker lasted a bit too long. Had the star disappeared, or had his tears obscured his view?
Bathroom lights dancing to the beat of the ground
I notice the lizard is again green as my daughter counts the glass stones
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents the poetry of the 9 May issue.
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
Issue 28 Feb 2022
Strange Horizons
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