Size / / /

Ariel, belle of the sea, drunk on a bar stool next to me. She grieves,
says she feels suckered, did not sprout the legs

she was promised. Her siren-red thatch clings head to shoulders
as she sobs, I am neither a woman, nor a fish. The gin, murky, her third,

gestures in her lily-knuckled grip. I think, What a dreamer. Who could help
but adore such a creature? I once read that the Danish novelist who imagined her

was celibate. When he died, his recovered journal said, MY BLOOD WANTS
LOVE. I pity big-eyed Ariel, now draped over the marble belly

of the bar; she is the candied contortion of his original lust. She looks up,
her tear-drops look too severe. They cut tracks, and when one starts

from her mouth I know it is blood. Stunned, I follow their ooze to a pool on the blue
rubber floor, 'round a pile of her salty insides. How had I not noticed her

missing lower half? All this time, a torso propped on the stool, snug
in its seashell brassiere. With each weeping heave, she has pumped from the place

where her waist was severed: a sludge of lungs, stomach, and parts
of her heart. The gin, too, must be mixed in. I recall

Hans Christian's full entry: MY BLOOD WANTS LOVE
AS MY HEART DOES. Like little Karen in his later fairytale, whose possessed

red shoes force her to dance forever, Ariel was misled.
She misread. Signed for a human soul, not legs.




KH van Berkum is a New England based poet and teacher whose poems have appeared in publications such as Curio Poetry, Vine Leaves Literary Journal, and Eunoia Review.  She is currently an MFA Candidate in Poetry and Teaching Fellow at Boston University.  She lives in Cambridge, where she can often be spotted dog-walking or spontaneously dancing.   
Current Issue
11 Nov 2019

Osnat went back to talk to the dybbuk again.
By: Rivqa Rafael
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Rivqa Rafael's “Whom My Soul Loves.”
You’re the girl with the basket full of bread and cream, who wandered somehow into this life.
your spongy tongue | as political as begging the world to drown
By: Mary McMyne
By: Ugonna-Ora Owoh
Podcast read by: Mary McMyne
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents poetry from the November 11 issue of Strange Horizons.
Friday: Tell Them of Battles, Kings & Elephants by Matthias Enard 
Issue 28 Oct 2019
By: Kelly Stewart
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kelly Stewart
Monday: Aniara 
,
Issue 21 Oct 2019
By: Omar William Sow
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Amy H. Robinson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Oct 2019
By: Kevin Wabaunsee
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ruben Reyes Jr.
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 7 Oct 2019
By: Charles Payseur
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Davian Aw
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Sep 2019
By: Kali de los Santos
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Heitor Zen
Podcast read by: Julia Quandt
By: Sérgio Motta
Podcast read by: Sérgio Motta
By: Isa Prospero
Podcast read by: Solaine Chioro
Monday: 3% 
,
Issue 23 Sep 2019
By: August Huerta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Sep 2019
By: Marie Brennan
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Hester J. Rook
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Hester J. Rook
Issue 9 Sep 2019
By: Shiv Ramdas
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Sarah Shirley
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
31 Aug 2019
Brazil Special Issue call for fiction submissions!
Issue 26 Aug 2019
By: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Cynthia So
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Load More
%d bloggers like this: