Size / / /

The sun, going about her daily chores,

glimpses a new star in the sky,

one smaller than herself,

yet strangely familiar.

Used to catching her image first in puddles,

then growing larger in lakes,

she at first only sees a stranger,

then catches herself

spread in the moon's reflection

across thousands of miles of sky.

Hypnotized by the beauty

of this strange new view of herself,

she can't ignore it,

sneaking looks time after time;

she can't take her eyes off herself.

Daily, as the moon moves about in the sky,

the sun catches tantalizing glimpses

of herself from multiple angles.

By then, the sun imagines herself to have

the moon's full attention,

claiming it as her mirror.

Like Snow White's wicked stepmother,

the sun asks this mirror repeatedly,

methodically, almost hypnotically,

"Who is the fairest of them all?"

The moon answers all questions


bringing the sun back time and again,

puppet on a string

seeking a definitive answer.

By day, the moon untangles

its strings of moonlight,

puts out its nets.

Their dialog moves sideways;

the sun's questions, always direct,

glance off the moon;

the moon's answers slip around behind it

as the sun tries to get a better look

at what the moon might be saying.

Who was created in whose image?

Which came first,

the chicken, the egg, or the yolk,

small sun caught up in the quicksilver lies

of albumen?

Duane Ackerson's most recent collection of poems and prose poems is The Bird at the End of the Universe. His science fiction has appeared in The Year's Best SF 1974, 100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories, and Burning With A Vision, among other places.

You can view more of Cathy and Duane's work in our archives, or contact them at

Cathy Ackerson’s poetry has appeared in venues including Caprice, The Dragonfly, Out of Sight, and the anthologies But Is It Poetry? and Poets West. Her artwork has appeared in several publications from Dragonfly Press including Rocket Candy.
Duane Ackerson's poetry has appeared in Rolling Stone, Yankee, Prairie Schooner, The Magazine of Speculative Poetry, Cloudbank, alba, Starline, Dreams & Nightmares, and several hundred other places. He has won two Rhysling awards and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. He lives in Salem, Oregon. You can find more of his work in our archives.
Current Issue
11 Jan 2021

The egg must have hatched overnight, though he could see no sign of a hatchling anywhere. Only empty shell bits remained, strewn here and there across the tatami.
By: Ryu Ando
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Kat Kourbeti presents "The karyōbinga sings to Jiro", by Ryu Ando.
a place nicknamed The Village of Fatherless Children
By: Nikki Caffier Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Nikki Caffier Smith's “In Which the Deer, Unwittingly or Not, Moves In.”
Issue 4 Jan 2021
By: Maya Beck
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Stephanie Burt
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Stephanie Burt
Issue 21 Dec 2020
By: Octavia Cade
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Meep Matsushima
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Meep Matsushima
Issue 14 Dec 2020
By: ML Kejera
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Brigid Nemeton
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Brigid Nemeton
7 Dec 2020
Strange Horizons is now accepting fiction submissions for the Palestinian Special issue! The issue, edited by Rasha Abdulhadi and Basma Ghalayini will be published at the end of March 2021. We are open for submissions from now until January 31, 2021. Don't wait till the end to send your work!
7 Dec 2020
تقديم الطلبات مفتوح من الان و حتى تاريخ 31 يناير 2021. قدم/ قدمي عملك عاجلا و ليس آجلا!
Issue 7 Dec 2020
By: Toby MacNutt
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Anna Cates
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Dec 2020
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Ateri Miyawatl
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Adam Coon
By: Vraiux Dorós
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
By: Luz Rosales
Translated by: Andrea Chapela
By: Libia Brenda
Translated by: Allana C. Noyes
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Podcast read by: Ateri Miyawatl
Issue 23 Nov 2020
By: Michael Bazzett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Michael Bazzett
Issue 16 Nov 2020
By: Cat Aquino
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Michael Chang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Nov 2020
By: Miyuki Jane Pinckard
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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