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At night I don’t dream.
I lie down in my bed and
close my eyes and
cover the lids with two coins. I pull up
the blanket over my head as
far as it will go.
And I wait for the adventure.

I fear I might lose my teeth
and become a porridge-eating mountain hag.
My grandmother lost hers and her mouth
was raw and empty and always redder than
I thought healthy. I brush my teeth every
morning and after every meal and before
I lie down in bed with my coins and shroud. In
between, I floss.

I have many pairs of shoes but
only ever one pair at a time
that really fits, that really walks
the long roads with me.
Whenever I replace that pair,
I have to learn anew how to tie
my laces, how to knock my heels together,
tap tap tap.

All my life
I would have loved to have a pet,
cat to my witch, hound to my fairy.
I never got one because
I did not want to turn
the back yard into a cemetery.

On my shopping list I write
I put the oatmeal in my shopping cart
and on my list, I cross out the word
with black ink, the magic of forgetting.
Immediately, I feel sorry.

Two pink lines mean yes
and one means no.
I do not know what I’d prefer
or what I should say
if someone asked me
a yes/no question. I wipe
my eyes with toilet paper.

I collect photos to collect
my life. They almost
show something meaningful,
are almost enough for a voodoo doll.
In my hands
the photos fall apart
like a make-up face
in rain.

Alexandra Seidel spent many a night stargazing when she was a child. These days, she writes stories and poems, something the stargazing probably helped with. Alexa’s writing has appeared in Strange Horizons, Uncanny Magazine, Fireside Magazine, and elsewhere. You can follow her on Twitter @Alexa_Seidel, like her Facebook page, and find out what she’s up to at
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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