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This is the whole world: your shirt
stretched against your heartbeat,
your collar chafing your throat

as you swallow. Everything is fabric,
one fabric. You’ve been confused!
You were naked. You thought you were guts.

Days, you’ve sat among cockroaches
on cracked tiles. They eat the stale cake
on the plate beside you, and also your hair.

Before this apartment, you hallucinated
your way across desert. Remember?
The world was fantastic. The world was giraffes

on unicycles. This way you knew
the world was fabric: because the circus
of summer followed you into the desert come fall,

clinging like only fabric clings
to your skin. Your clothing is rags, but otherwise
faithful. Fateful. It is your whole world.

Zella Christensen is mostly from Wisconsin and studied creative writing at George Mason University. Her poetry has appeared in Star*LineMirror Dance, and elsewhere. She lives online at
Current Issue
8 Aug 2022

my uncle walks around with amulets tied to his waist
Cia transits between you: a moon the size of home, a tiny hole in Shapa’s swirls.
Foxglove was called Foxglove not because of the flower, but because she could slip into the skin of a fox like a hand into a glove.
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Strange Horizons
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Podcast: 6 June Poetry 
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