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Once beyond the twilight
there were three lionesses pacing

I can no longer bear the weight of days
every month a stone to make a mountain:
giant, sleepy giant, your broad back
robs my horizon, throttles my sky
like rope made of hair

my mouth tastes bitter, gray
like gnawed on dreams, broken between my teeth
I had a dream with lioness fur
and smiling face:
on four feet you crouch
to land on two
(and only when you stumble will you need the third)

I know the unmoved stone, the claw
that never drew blood
I live in a savannah where the pride
of dream lionesses
has become bones in a hunter's pouch
and their hearts echoes in the pouch;
the morning is a stranger in that savannah

Once beyond the twilight there were three lionesses pacing.
"I can no longer bear the weight of days," said the first,
and her paws beat the earth, skin of a drum.
"My mouth tastes bitter, gray, like gnawed on dreams, broken between
my teeth," said the second,
and her paws beat the earth, skin of a drum.
"I know the unmoved stone, the claw that never drew blood," said the third,
and her claws went deep into the earth; they broke the skin and sped the drum.
And when the hunter touched the earth,
the drum was still,
the drum was still.

Alexandra Seidel spent many a night stargazing when she was a child. These days, she writes stories and poems, something the stargazing probably helped with. Alexa’s writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel, like her Facebook page, and find out what she’s up to at
Current Issue
27 Nov 2023

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