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CONTENT WARNING:


He sent me a picture

of a long sinuous line, dark

as entrails and wet,

curving on the floor.

‘Sappy,’ he wrote. ‘But

I want you.’

 

‘I want you,’ I replied.

 

I could not quite

smell apple-flesh

and the air suddenly redolent

of borderlands,

early sunsets,

the season trees begin to dress for death.

But I thought of apple skin clinging

to a curve, yet unshaped

by apple-sorcery. I thought

of my mouth pressed against

flushed skin,

my breath coming back to me:

a premonition of the first

sweet bite, and the second.

 

‘Did you throw it over

your shoulder?’

 

These things have their rules.

Don’t let the skin break,

as it curls away from your thumb and knife.

Don’t let the skin break,

as you set the gold-fleshed fruit down.

Don’t let the skin break,

when you toss it.

Listen for the almost inaudible

slap when the peel hits the floor

and the future arranges it

into your lover’s initial.

Witness.

‘I did,’ he says.

 

What is sap? A sticky

mess, a syrup,

sweet-bitter with smoke.

A sugary crusty

tallow ripple

cleaving

the bark. An injury

which leaks a

sweetness —

The vascular system of

flowering things;

movement;

life.



Jessica P. Wick is a writer and freelance editor living in Rhode Island. She enjoys rambling through graveyards and writing by candlelight. Her poetry may be found scattered across the internet. Her novella “An Unkindness” is out June 2020 in A Sinister Quartet from Mythic Delirium. Other dark fiction may be found in Rigor Morbid: Lest Ye Become from Bronzeville Books.
Current Issue
2 Jun 2020

Our editors have seen a massive increase in submissions from writers since the Covid-19 crisis, and we want to be able to read and publish that work.
We didn’t want your nail clippings or your blood. Your laughter, or tears, would do.
They say that the Voyagers will outlast us for billions of years.
as if I wouldn’t wish to get all my deaths over with at once instead of waiting in dirt
In place of fear that they will lose control, the posthumans accept that control was never in their grasp and that the natural world extends beyond their reach and that nature has a beauty that is beyond the human.
Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Strange Horizons
Issue 25 May 2020
By: Dana Wilde
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Issue 18 May 2020
By: Johnny Compton
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By: Jong-Ki Lim
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Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
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Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Raimo Kangasniemi
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Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Shuyi Yin
By: Nome Emeka Patrick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
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