Size / / /

A bee once stung my mouth, you see.
I learned to tread the water's edge,
ream oranges, and sunny dawns drown
honeycombs in pools of salt and lye.

They'll say I never was a steady gal,
but long before you came again
I'd started drawing maps, each route
where X was the rag-tatted lace I would place

near my carpenter's warm human heart.
They'll say I was sea-drunk, skirts netting
old cod; these bowed hips (they'll say)
could do nothing but buy. Cheap as sand dollars,

faithless as women can be,
when the sea spit you back
I raced out of my carpenter's pine-hearted arms
with a ring finger tattooed salt white.

Six ships carried you on the salt
salt sea, and one moored on land
to ferry me. Gold-heavy they bobbed,
ruby-laden they swayed all your hulls

to point east Friday morn.
They've told it before and they'll tell
it again: how I loved you like stars
on a scale. What they miss so do I:

my carpenter's lathe-riddled hands,
birch-white band last I tucked
in his pence-empty seams. The truth
of the matter is I always knew you:

gravestone heels, flash of teeth,
viper tongue. Lye won't scratch.
But bees return, too, and I knew
how to do it. My hands were as clumsy as mice.

They'll say hollow and mean it, but how
could they see just how sweet I can spin?
It was ten holes I made that day: him, you, and me.
How those bows tackled under like ice.

We see land but the orchid-teeth sand's
not for us. Seven ships I set skimming
across the salt sea; let your sins be kissed
breathless by water. I win.




Pamela Manasco is a writer, editor, and poet living in the Birmingham, Alabama area.
Current Issue
17 Jan 2022

The land burns so hot and high tonight that Let can see its orange glow even from the heart of The City of Birds. It burns so thick she can taste the whole year’s growth of leaves and branches on her lips. It burns so fast she can almost hear the deer and cottontails scream as flames outrun them and devour them whole.
I writhe in bed with fever, chills, chatters and shivers. The near becomes far as the far comes close.
No one gets married before going to space.
Wednesday: Unity by Elly Bangs 
Friday: The Cabinet by Un-Su Kim, translated by Sean Lin Halbert 
Issue 10 Jan 2022
Issue 3 Jan 2022
Strange Horizons
By: Antonio Funches
By: Lev Mirov
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Dec 2021
By: Merie Kirby
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Dec 2021
By: Freydís Moon
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 6 Dec 2021
By: C. S. E. Cooney
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: C. S. E. Cooney
Issue 29 Nov 2021
Issue 22 Nov 2021
Issue 15 Nov 2021
By: Madeline Grigg
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 8 Nov 2021
By: Allison Parrish
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 1 Nov 2021
By: Liam Corley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Liam Corley
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