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I have stopped looking
for your face. Crow-black beak,
iridescent duck feathers, rough hide
of a whale—all this was beautiful
enough. You came to me
as an old man and I knew you
by your hands—they were soft
and cold as ash. And when you were
a woman, I heard the tremor in the way
you called for me. How could I explain
this to my sisters? A creature held
together by a name, and what kind
of husband is that? I was more
honest than a mirror, you said.


I imagined you once: sunlight
turning your hair to fox fur, red
freckles, neat white scars pulled taut
across a smile, bones that looked
like mine. This was my mistake.


After you are gone, I realize it is a freedom.
I collect all the mirrors in my house,
from the floor-length to the handheld wooden
one I love. I toss them in the pond, unbroken,
and watch as they slip below the glassy water.
Freedom, you once told me, brushing my wet hair
before dawn, is to go unseen
in a dark wood, to be a boat on a black sea,
a kite with no string, a bird
with no name at all.

Originally from Texas, Madeline Grigg is a queer poet with an MFA in Creative Writing from Bowling Green State University. Her poetry has appeared in Nimrod, Barely South Review, Dream Pop Press, and elsewhere. Check out more of her work at
Current Issue
16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Wednesday: The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe in Contemporary Culture by Mark Bould 
Friday: Spear by Nicola Griffith 
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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