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.
Issue 10 Jun 2024
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Issue 27 May 2024
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Issue 13 May 2024
Issue 6 May 2024
Issue 29 Apr 2024
Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
Issue 8 Apr 2024
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