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Fifty of us, at a wedding

overflowing with sweet wine.

Our mothers tremble

behind the columns.

Fifty of us, our hands filled

with bread and dates.

Our knives tremble

in our sleeves.

Fifty of us, in darkened rooms,

our gowns slipping from our shoulders.

The curtains tremble

between the beds.

Fifty of us, placing sharpened knives

against our husbands' throats.

Our hands tremble

as we push bronze into skin.

Fifty of us, with roughened rope

tied tight around our necks.

The ropes tremble

as we fall.

Fifty of us, carrying water

in containers filled with holes.

The jugs tremble

in our tired arms.

Fifty of us, remembering

the way our husbands burned our homes.

The images tremble

in our shadowed minds.

Fifty of us, sold for gold

to the men who burned our homes.

The coins tremble

in our bloodstained hands.

Fifty of us, placing our mouths

against the dripping holes.

Our mouths tremble

removing all regret.




Mari Ness is a poet, writer, and scholar of fairy tales, whose work has previously appeared in multiple zines, including here in Strange Horizons. Her poetry novella, Through Immortal Shadows Singing, is available from Papaveria Press. For more, check out her occasionally updated webpage at marikness.wordpress.com, or follow her on Twitter at mari_ness.
Current Issue
30 Jun 2020

Finding your community can feel like finding home and family
Something knocks on the door. Esther, dreaming, would like to ignore it. Instead, she blinks awake and grabs her shotgun, because dead things typically call for bullets, not spell work, and whatever wants inside her home is certainly dead.
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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Carlie St. George's “Monsters Never Leave You.”
Beep, she thought, and then said it aloud because she had a beeper and why the hell not. “Beep. Beep.”
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By forming their own chosen family as the Sea Salt Trio, Roxas, Axel, and Xion are eventually able to fight for their own lives and purpose.
Issue 22 Jun 2020
By: Neha Maqsood
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Neha Maqsood
Issue 15 Jun 2020
By: Remy Reed Pincumbe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Preston Grassmann
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Issue 8 Jun 2020
By: Kathleen Jennings
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Keaton Bennett
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Issue 2 Jun 2020
By: Sheree Renée Thomas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Maggie Damken
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Issue 1 Jun 2020
By: Jessica P. Wick
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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
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Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
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