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I have bees in my brain.
A venom-fanged hydra prowls my chest.
My mind is loosed on
ice skates and all the world is a rink.

You used to tell me I’m fine,
man up and put yourself right.
Real men don’t fret, being weak is a
choice, just get a job and keep it,
everyone else can handle it so
why can’t you?

Exasperated, you take me on a job,
piloting two-person drones,
our minds melded by the box in your van
using science neither of us understands.
I fly well, and you’re pleased
and appeased and you back off a while.

Then I catch you pacing, twitching
as though warding off a chill
even though it’s summer.
You sweat in the shade, lie awake
unblinking all night.
I overhear you say, “My head won’t stop buzzing,”
and I know the mind-meld broadcast
more than it should.

I try to soothe you but you
laugh me away, and though you feel it
daily you suppress it and ride the shame
like a surfer rides a monster wave,
trying to outrun it before it breaks.

I hear you whimper at night,
and I sneak downstairs to find
you reading at the kitchen table.
Reading my journal, words you used
to mock, but now you speak them
half-choked as though you’re trying to
hold them close.
You realize I’m watching
but you keep reading,
until the sun rises, because now you know:

I have bees in my brain.
A venom-fanged hydra prowls my chest.
My mind is loosed on
ice skates and all the world is a rink.

Arthur H. Manners is a British writer of speculative fiction. His short fiction is published/forthcoming in places like Dreamforge Anvil, Drabblecast, and Writers of the Future, Vol. 39. “Now You Know” is his first published poem. Find him on Twitter (@a_h_manners), Instagram (docmanners), and online (
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10 Jun 2024

In summer, the crack on the windowpane would align perfectly with the horizon, right around 2 p.m.
airstrikes littering the litanies of my existence
I turn to where they are not, / and I nod to them, and they to me.
Issue 9 Jun 2024
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By: Ana Hurtado
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