Size / / /

There is a shadow   world in the pendulum
swing of her arms   when her weathered fingers
release the sand bags

Pocket: 200
the hole is a universe deep
and   she is falling down   fracturing
her bones   like a glass maze   cracking down to
dust   always on the floor

Pocket: 100
the hole is dark   midnight
and a bald stranger in her bed
wipes her tears   says if she waters
her hazelnuts   trees will grow
out of her head

Pocket: 0
she misses the board
her fingers recall
his chest with hair thick like moss the length
of him   she cups the sand bag   just so
smiles knowingly   not remembering
why exactly

Pocket: 500
the hole is light   shining
off the scissors with which   she says
she cut your hair   as you slept
to make you   pay for the curls
she never had

Pocket: 500
the hole is six feet deep
her sister asked   to be buried whole
and not burned to keep   the curls   she mocked her
for and   her husband held her hand   so cold
and he is cold   on the bed
they should loosen   his collar
to let him breathe   to let him breathe
please   let him breathe

Pocket: 500
the hole is an open   mouth
and her tongue throws   words
like sand bags   like wayward spells
at times so precise they make you
forget   yourself   everything

Dominik Parisien is a Franco-Ontarian living in Montreal, Quebec. His poetry has appeared in print and online, in the 2013 Strange Horizons fundraising bonus issue for example, and has been reprinted in Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. He is the poetry editor for Postscripts to Darkness, provides editorial support for Cheeky Frawg Books, and is a former editorial assistant for Weird Tales.
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20 Mar 2023

Strange Horizons will be open to fiction submissions on April 26th, 2023, at 9 a.m. UTC! To keep our response times manageable and submission windows more frequent, there will be a 1,000-story cap on submissions.
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