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I stole the torturer's tongue.
it's the first side of me some see
the first line you hear
first line of defense when I say
"See this long tongue illicitly acquired—
doesn't it suit me well?
hear these long words assiduously applied—
don't I wield them well?
wouldn't you be foolish if you tried to tackle me
in anything so complex as a kiss or a conversation?"
I stole the torturer's tongue!
hear this long tongue!
feel this long tongue!
this tongue sometimes my only tool
(not mine entirely, but what is?)
I was raised protectively of/as/by other people's property—
I got over that.
this tongue is yours too if you can take it.
I stole the torturer's tongue!
man wouldn't recognize this dancing, twining, retrained flesh
if it slapped upside the empty space in him head—
it will, it has; he'll pay for the pleasure.
watch him try an' claim as his own this long, strong old tongue's
new-remembered rhythms . . .
hear this long tongue!
fear this long tongue!
know this tall tale to be mine too, and I'll live or die by it.
I stole the torturer's tongue!




David C. Findlay is a thingmaker in music, visual art, text & other media. He is also a recovering Canadian who now resides with his main squeeze in Southern California. David still says "I'm sorry!" when people bump into him & spells "humour" wrong but is otherwise acclimatizing to his new home. His essays and poetry can be found in First Person Queer: Who We Are (So Far), Dark Matter: Reading the Bones, and The Best of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. "Stolen Song" first appeared in Nalo Hopkinson's Midnight Robber.
Current Issue
24 Feb 2020

tight braids coiled into isles and continents against our scalps
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Mayra Paris's “New York, 2009.”
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Carl just said ‘if the skull wants to break out, it will have to come to me for the key’, which makes me think that Carl doesn’t really understand how breaking out of a place works.
Wednesday: The Heart of the Circle by Keren Landsman 
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Issue 17 Feb 2020
By: Priya Sridhar
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: E. F. Schraeder
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 10 Feb 2020
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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