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To all the desk did Rock announce,
“I’m taking myself a bride!
Fair Paper shall my true love be,
And never leave my side.

“I’ll hold her, as her paperweight,
Her restlessness I’ll soothe.
She’ll wrap me in her soft, white form
And make my roughness smooth.”

But Scissor snapped her steel and cried,
“She does not love you true!
She’ll wrap you tight and hold you fast
And surely smother you.

“Oh, Rock, how do you not recall
The music we had made
Each time your roughness danced with me
And honed my singing blades?

“Be mine, my Rock, give me your strength
And I’ll make you a pledge:
It’s you alone whom I shall love,
Who need not fear my edge.”

But Rock would hear no more of this.
He said, “I spoke in truth.
And I’ll take Paper for my wife,
Who makes my roughness smooth.”

The wedding morning came, with vows
That bound the leaf and stone.
Rock beamed his love and sang his joy.
His bride beside him shone.

And Scissor watched, and Scissor wept,
But no one paid her mind.
When bride and groom embraced, she sighed,
“Was ever love so blind?”

The guests began to dance and sway
A fine and sweeping sight!
Around her husband Paper spun
And wrapped him up so tight.

Poor Scissor, she could bear no more
This cruel romantic lapse.
She fell upon her darling Rock
And cut his love to scraps.

“Remember what I was to you,
Remember now my pledge.
I’ll not lose you to Paper’s wiles.
She should have feared my edge.”

He took her by her handle red,
A coldness in his heart.
He smashed against her blades and hinge
And shattered her apart.

His spirit broken, doubly so,
Rock on his tears did choke.
He tossed himself from off the desk
And on the floor he broke.

To wastebasket were all consigned
That very afternoon.
Rock lay upon on his lover’s corpse,
With his beloved’s strewn.

’Til Paper rot and Scissor rust
They lie with Rock entombed.
Destruction sought, destruction found,
Three lovers sadly doomed.



Jessica Lévai has loved stories and storytellers her whole life. After a double major in history and mathematics, a PhD in Egyptology, and eight years of the adjunct shuffle, she devoted herself to writing full-time. Her first novella is a vampire romance written in Pushkin sonnets. Check out her website, JessicaLevai.com, for links and more.
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16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Wednesday: The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe Culture by Mark Bould 
Friday: Spear by Nicola Griffith 
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
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By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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By: Devin Miller
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We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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