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9. The explosion cradles her gently,
weightless, so loud all is silent,
the swaddle of electric pepper
compressing like a mother’s heartbeat.

8. Is this when—

7. No, a path already woven cannot
be altered. The past has occurred,
and so has the future. She must
just be, in the here and now, every
coordinate a golden fiber in her being.

6. She traces the mistakes inscribed on
the infinite wax cylinder of the world,
ending in an ouroboric blaze of regret.

5. Here is a fantasy:
If she can truly start over, again,
she’d go back before the first hydrogen.
Before the first pings of light.
As an all-seeing god she can sheathe
the sword. Untie the knot by sending
the sheep back to pasture.

4. Knowing what happens only makes
it harder. How does Cassandra bears it,
fire pouring from her eyes nightly?

3. She realizes it now, because she has
always known, in her very name and
nature.
 
2. Antimatter is matter traveling
back in time. Our lines in spacetime
are snarled yarn. Headless. Tailless.
Death and birth the two infinite walls
we bounce between.

1. The world bares its entire self to
her from the inside out, stars upon
stars in the celestial womb.

0. “What do you mean, backwards?”


Hal studies individual quanta of excitations and thoughts.  Her writing is at halyzhang.com.
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21 Sep 2020

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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Aqdas Aftab's “Quiet.”
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Issue 14 Sep 2020
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Issue 31 Aug 2020
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17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for our Mexico Special issue, which will be published at the end of November 2020!
17 Jul 2020
Strange Horizons lanza su convocatoria en busca textos narrativos para su Especial de México, que se publicará a finales de noviembre de 2020!
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