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I was laughing when I died,

picturing the face some future prince

might make when, having hacked

through giant rosebush thorns

and climbed the haunted tower,

he sees the spindle broken and the bed

unmade. We ran out at the last,

my virgin blood still wet between my thighs.

Let the spurned witch-sister

and the so-called fairy godmothers

duke out what history is writ.

Poor planning lets fate devour

the happy story here-and-now.

Destiny wants purity and light

and most of all submission, so

the scullery maid fisted me to ecstasy.

The curse broke like the chiming of a clock.

Time to grow up, unconcerned

by princess pink and bridal white. My passion

saved my life: city, apothecary's shop,

both a husband and a wife,

and grandchildren, bored, about my deathbed–

I would not have waited for a single man,

no matter what his charms,

for what I made with my two hands.




Mary Alexandra Agner writes of dead women, telescopes, and secrets. Her poetry, stories, and nonfiction have appeared in The Cascadia Subduction ZoneShenandoah, and Sky & Telescope, respectively. She can be found online at http://www.pantoum.org.
Current Issue
5 Apr 2021

They say we broke Nairobi; we whose tears do not burn; whose blood runs cold.
i think the princesses are sick of constellations by now
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Caroline Dinh's “city girls.”
Issue 29 Mar 2021
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Issue 8 Mar 2021
By: Lorraine Wilson
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Issue 1 Mar 2021
By: Sasha LaPointe
Podcast read by: Sasha LaPointe
Issue 22 Feb 2021
By: Hal Y. Zhang
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Issue 15 Feb 2021
By: Wen-yi Lee
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Issue 8 Feb 2021
By: Varsha Dinesh
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
By: Sarah Kathryn Moore
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Podcast read by: Sarah Kathryn Moore
Issue 1 Feb 2021
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Betsy Aoki
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Issue 25 Jan 2021
By: Beatriz F. Fernandez
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