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the goblin queen hosts a feast of oil, and the night
slips down my throat as a dream.
every soup wears a sheen; every fish belly shudders
have you ever known such simple and supple desserts?

she is cast in points, oh Queen of Under Everything—
blessed are the copper teeth, righteous are the agate nails!
horns curled precious ‘round delicate ears, nose hooked
as a question toward bloodsweetened lips.

above, I dare say, there are those who call us sister-things.
and I tell her of the Jew who swallowed her mother’s diamonds;
passed them; ate them; passed them again;
carried her bitter hoard all the way to liberation day.

goblins do not pass anything, she declares on jagged tongue.
our bellies are as earth-core, our word is as the last.
better an eater than an ancestor,
better to finish the hunger right.

how I covet the dip of her pinky into viscous fossil wine;
my voice is thin as salted water, my myth is bonemeal dry.
I mouth misshapen prayers that were lost to the dark,
grieve the shoes I’ll devour one day for a daughter—

but I smith my silence to an iron gate for the queen
knows nothing of the work that sets you free.
would she cut my throat on such callous ease?
I want to pour out slowly, I don’t even want to stain.



Avi Silver is a spec fic author (Sãoni Cycle), editor (Augur Magazine), poet, and co-founder of The Shale Project. Find their short fiction in Common Bonds: An Aromantic Speculative Anthology, and more of their poetry forthcoming in Uncanny Magazine. Learn more at mxavisilver.com or on Twitter @thescreambean.
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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