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I grew up

in a house made of clouds

with walls of wind

and floors of fine red dust.

I could stretch my wings

and never come to an end of it.

I grew up

in a land made of storm,

whose hills were updrafts,

whose valleys were downdrafts,

all spiraling inward.

I could glide for miles or months

and never come to the end of it.

I grew up

in the Great Red Spot.

My parents moved here

from the homeworld before I hatched.

I watched the silver eggs fly by without wings,

and mother would crackle to me that they

belonged to humans, who lived

in houses of hard wood

on lands made of dust.

I felt a little sorry for them

to be so small, so solid, so finite,

and said so. My father laughed,

a broadband burst of static,

and said that some people

envied the humans,

wanting to walk on dust

and live in wood

as they did.

When I stopped laughing back,

I said no, no—far better

to live in a cloudhouse

in the stormland

and be free.




Elizabeth Barrette writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the fields of speculative fiction, gender studies, and alternative spirituality. She serves as Dean of Studies for the Grey School of Wizardry. She hosts a monthly Poetry Fishbowl on her blog. She enjoys suspension-of-disbelief bungee jumping and spelunking in other people's reality tunnels. You can email Elizabeth at ysabet@worthlink.net, and see more of Elizabeth's work in the books Companion for the Apprentice Wizard and Composing Magic, and in our archives.
Current Issue
9 Dec 2019

“Full ahead, Mister Sal,” says Moore. I grit my teeth and force the Anastasis forward. The engines, the strongest of any ship I’ve ever steered, screech and whine like dying things. The nightgaunts are ten deep around us and it’s like flying through tar.
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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents SL Harris's “Into the Eye.”
I stand in a cell for suffrage.
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In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Jessy Randall's “Mary Agnes Chase (1869-1963).”
Wednesday: Sharp and Sugar Tooth edited by Octavia Cade 
Friday: David Mogo, Godhunter by Suyi Davies Okungbowa 
Issue 2 Dec 2019
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Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
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Issue 25 Nov 2019
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Issue 18 Nov 2019
By: Marika Bailey
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Alicia Cole
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Issue 11 Nov 2019
By: Rivqa Rafael
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By: Mary McMyne
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Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
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Issue 21 Oct 2019
By: Omar William Sow
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Amy H. Robinson
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Issue 14 Oct 2019
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Issue 7 Oct 2019
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Issue 30 Sep 2019
By: Kali de los Santos
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Monday: 3% 
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Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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