Size / / /


the Museum of Gray Matter consists entirely
of horsehair ladders & Malaysian body wave paneling,
herringbone floors with beaded parts rising
to kiss the meat of my heels. i tiptoe
through the domed exhibits, studying their dehydration.
blackened dandruff falls like ash, swivels, consecrates
the drylands in honor of a foreign god’s rite:
body, diffuse heat and coconut oil. wash out.
the sound my scalp makes when i comb my sideburns,
sometimes dismissive & others grieving.
the rearranging of dark & light into figures
we might know & call by name, rat-tails
weaving orange through a thicket of knotted curls,
appraising the graves where those headstones sit, parietal.
enclosed in this fist, a fallen braid unfurls
in bloom. would that it were a painting, a textbook
for a child who will one day bury itself.
something beautiful for it to make into science.
i passed Judas in one of the many halls,
watched him carry his father on his shoulders.
he told me this: “brown is the color
of my new flesh. brown is the color of all
self-respecting apostles.” & maybe

in a cleaner world i would have believed him,
but we stood like brothers on opposite sides
of the same fogged glass & spoke His name
in unitalicized whispers. he wanted to kill me,
& i did too, but i kept walking, am still walking.
in every doorway someone new is screaming
treat the church like your wife, so i repeat it
until i am martyred, writhing until riven,
until pulp, chewed & swallowed. my mirror-self
Lacans into a thousand tears; balder than
i was yesterday, & everyone knows it.
just look at yourself, he says. your hair is falling out.

Lyrik Courtney (ca. 1999) is a Floridian who sits at the cultural intersection of African-American and nonbinary gender. Their work has been featured in/is forthcoming in Ninth Letter, Blueshift Journal, and Liminality Magazine, as well as other places, but you can always find them tweeting at @lyrik_c.
Current Issue
27 Jul 2020

Stefan škrtl další sirkou a zapálil jednu ze svíček, které s sebou přinesl, pak další a další, dokud je neobklopoval celý kruh. Hanna nakrčila nos. Svíčky vydávaly zvláštní zápach, ale ne nepříjemný. Připomínal čerstvě posečenou trávu. I jejich tmavě olivová barva byla nezvyklá.
By: Amel Moussa
Translated by: Hager Ben Driss
Many things in my kitchen resemble me; I relate to them; we entertain one another. Water, fire, and electricity vegetables, water rich fruits, and dry fruits
أشياء ٌكثيرةٌ في مطبخي تُشبهني أتماهى مع هذه الأشياء ونُؤنسُ بعضنا.
He ignored her remark, ignited another match and lit a small candle. Then another one. He continued until a circle of candles surrounded them on the stage. Hanna scrunched her nose. The candles exuded a strange smell, but not an unpleasant one. It resembled freshly mown grass. The color was unusual too, a deep olive-green.
By: Eisuke Aikawa
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
The translucent Ōe-san steps out of the bathroom and sits at the table as usual. He spreads butter on an invisible slice of bread, takes a bite, and chews it, holding the morning paper in his other hand. Just like a mime. I sit on the floor and observe his movements.
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
Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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