Size / / /

You call us shifters, but yoga 
never pulled me straight
mantras couldn't (sri rama rama rameti) shape me to match
the movies comics paintings and those potions to turn me 
fair & lovely
just made me ill. 

You say I shifted, but you broke me
to fit. Now I write speak
dream in (your English is so good)
Such a gift no? Don't believe it
You think I (simply only) forgot? I'm dislocated
Agastya named me monstrous
You call me special
Ram cut my hands off
You ripped out my (paki paki toks like thees) tongue.

Now I sound invisible
to Ram (you)
I disagree slantwise
and smile smile, but I never learned
to stop fighting. Tamil falls broken (konjam konjam pesaren) 
from my tongue's torn roots
and I write speak dream in blood.


Also in this week's issue, you can read an interview with Shweta about this poem and its influences.




Shweta Narayan was born in India and has lived in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Scotland, and California. They feel kinship with shapeshifters and other liminal beings. Their short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana, We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology, An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables, Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Fantasy, and Clockwork Phoenix 3, among others. Shweta was the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at Clarion 2007 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Nebula Awards.
Current Issue
23 Mar 2020

We had never seen naked men do what we did.
True allies, then, know when to support people by being there and by not being there. Safe spaces provide community, openness, and respite.
For this first quarterly roundup of speculative fiction, put together in such difficult times, Maria Haskins' unofficial theme is hope and happiness, resilience and resistance.
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
Issue 9 Mar 2020
By: Leah Bobet
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Emily Smith
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Mar 2020
By: Innocent Chizaram Ilo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Cam Kelley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
By: Dante Luiz
Art by: DAPENHA
Issue 24 Feb 2020
By: Mayra Paris
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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
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