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For Melody Nova

For this comet's path I chose it, carved it
to be our temporary castle. In the act of opening
I let its secrets leak out into the starlight,
exposing this pocked and hissing water-ice
as blue as your seven elder sisters.
I shaped it to us till it shone. It is not terraformed
(this is no earth) but transfigured: a chiselled, burnished fluid.

You descend, shimmering darkly.
The scent of you, of alien metals, diffuses
into my atmosphere of breath and frozen dust.
And of desire: you, nebula-born, you empyrean beauty,
I would see you nova-bright and radiant,
pulsing, brilliant with every cosmic hue.
Yet I have tumbled through so many skies,
and found none to be your match. I have no stars to give.

I hold out my empty hands. As solar wind strokes the ice-wall
into light, into life, my reaching fingers glitter with their gift:
We are the void. (I touch your cheek.)
We hold the stars already,
and we burn, we burn.



Toby MacNutt is an author, dancer, and knitter living in rural Vermont. Their work in all media draws on their experience as a nonbinary trans, queer, disabled, and neurodivergent person. Toby's poetry and prose has been published in various magazines and in their collection If Not Skin. Find out more at www.tobymacnutt.com.
Current Issue
22 Apr 2024

We’d been on holiday at the Shoon Sea only three days when the incident occurred. Dr. Gar had been staying there a few months for medical research and had urged me and my friend Shooshooey to visit.
...
For a long time now you’ve put on the shirt of the walls,/just as others might put on a shroud.
Tu enfiles longuement la chemise des murs,/ tout comme d’autres le font avec la chemise de la mort.
The little monster was not born like a human child, yelling with cold and terror as he left his mother’s womb. He had come to life little by little, on the high, three-legged bench. When his eyes had opened, they met the eyes of the broad-shouldered sculptor, watching them tenderly.
Le petit monstre n’était pas né comme un enfant des hommes, criant de froid et de terreur au sortir du ventre maternel. Il avait pris vie peu à peu, sur la haute selle à trois pieds, et quand ses yeux s’étaient ouverts, ils avaient rencontré ceux du sculpteur aux larges épaules, qui le regardaient tendrement.
We're delighted to welcome Nat Paterson to the blog, to tell us more about his translation of Léopold Chauveau's story 'The Little Monster'/ 'Le Petit Monstre', which appears in our April 2024 issue.
Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
Issue 8 Apr 2024
Issue 1 Apr 2024
Issue 25 Mar 2024
By: Sammy Lê
Art by: Kim Hu
Issue 18 Mar 2024
Strange Horizons
Issue 11 Mar 2024
Issue 4 Mar 2024
Issue 26 Feb 2024
Issue 19 Feb 2024
Issue 12 Feb 2024
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