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

obliquely,

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 Ackerson@navicom.com.



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
10 Aug 2020

Let me tell you how I first met Seax-of-Peony, Empress of the Known Moons.
By: Anya Johanna DeNiro
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Anya Johanna DeNiro's “A Voyage to Queensthroat.”
When your people came down from the stars / we put you in jails and cellars and basements
By: Laura Cranehill
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Laura Cranehill's “We Let You Live.”
Wednesday: The Pursuit of William Abbey by Claire North 
Issue 3 Aug 2020
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Christine Lucas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Krishnakumar Sankaran
Issue 20 Jul 2020
By: Ranylt Richildis
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: JD Fox
By: JD Fox
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: JD Fox
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!
Issue 13 Jul 2020
By: Alex Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kimberly Kaufman
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Jul 2020
By: Stephen O'Donnell
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Thomas White
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Jun 2020
By: Carlie St. George
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Janelle C. Shane
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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