Size / / /

Diamonds in the sky across the Milky Way
creating rushing rivers of cosmic dust.
On the banks, the goats begin to bleat
a call for a fairy princess.
When electromagnetic winds blow,
she lets a peony fly across the
dark river, and it flies
avoiding asteroid clusters,
soars over a solar flare,
floats
into Altair's waiting hands.

Vega sings as she weaves a tapestry of
phoenixes and dragons under the sea,
tears crystallizing into pearls and shattering
into diamonds—Vega sings:
I would give up silk and brocades for the rags you wear;
if this loom would shatter into a new galaxy
I could walk away from this palace of delights
on magpie wings.

Jewels in the distance winking in conspiracy
gossip on event horizons, unsympathetic
to the specks in the corner.
For they loom large as suns and live forever
until their supernova moments,
fleeing ghosts into the dark
of the karmic wheel—
ten more kaphas to enlightenment.
But red threads connect all lives,
from the greatest giant
to the smallest gnat,
tangling
in Vega's weaving fingers.

Altair plays his flute, soundwaves enveloping his hovel
the way they did on their bridal night, of
longing and pillars built up to Heaven,
his fairy children fast asleep—Altair plays:
All the clouds embroidered in the sky, I know who made them;
if this body was more than mortal—more than flesh
I could touch them, climb them and not wait
for magpie wings.

The universe's tomorrow
is when the giants awaken and
yawning, glide across the sky
to their next constellation, waiting for
galaxies to collide and merge,
lovingly entwining their planets and stars.

Someday, the Milky Way will be so enmeshed
we will not need
magpie wings.




Jaymee Goh is a writer, reviewer, editor, and essayist of science fiction and fantasy. Her work has been published in a number of science fiction and fantasy magazines and anthologies. She wrote the blog Silver Goggles, an exploration of postcolonial theory through steampunk, and has contributed to Tor.comRacialicious.com, and Beyond Victoriana. She graduated from the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop in 2016, and received her PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Riverside, where she dissertated on steampunk and whiteness. She  works as an editor for Tachyon Publications.
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?
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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