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The land is throwing me off
even as I cling to her

Grow up, she says, I’m not your mother
Stop that borrowed gender

Still, I can follow the row of hills

a duckling imprinting
on a robot duck (can happen)

but the land is alive more ways
than me, so I must be the robot

following the real mothers
who are multitudes of all genders
like casuarinas, lichen, turtles
ants, yams, outcrops
still water, sparks, coals

I watch and machine learn
I cry ugly duckling tears about
my system,
excuses

The lands have their real children
They look beyond me, shrug

I fall down a hillside
gaze back in need and love
with my constructed eyes

I study the multitudes to pass on
when I grow up and have
robot ducklings of my own



Merri Andrew writes poetry and short fiction, some of which appears in Five on the Fifth, Daikaijuzine, AntipodeanSF, and Baby Teeth. She lives on Ngunnawal and Ngambri Country in Canberra, a city hiding in the sub-alpine bushland of Australia. Merri can be found on Twitter @MerriAndrewHere.
Current Issue
26 Feb 2024

I can’t say any of this to the man next to me because he is wearing a tie
Language blasts through the malicious intentions and blows them to ash. Language rises triumphant over fangs and claws. Language, in other words, is presented as something more than a medium for communication. Language, regardless of how it is purposed, must be recognized as a weapon.
verb 4 [C] to constantly be at war, spill your blood and drink. to faint and revive yourself. to brag of your scars.
Wednesday: The Body Problem by Margaret Wack 
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