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The storm-seers failed to tell us
to await the malachite beetles.
We must thank them for this failure.
If we had foreseen the storm, we
would have been alone, at home,
wrapped safe as a spider wraps
its prey. We would have been separate.

And so, we did not see the storm, we
were shopping, borrowing books,
mailing letters, living public lives.

Now it has come, and we—
in truth we are no people, we
are stones under the moss
of the viridescent storm.

When the air hums green, we
lose the things that keep us
lonely, keep us separate. We
are together in strange places,
avalanched into libraries,
post offices, neighbors’ homes.

The storm of the malachite beetles
is unification. Each insect like
each other, each human equally
stone, equally speaking to drown out
the hum of beetle wings.

We are safe inside our carapaces, we
are safe in company with strangers.
The storm is care and crisis both,
verdant, teeming, bringing life
on sharp-edged, malachite wings.

Devin Miller is a queer, genderqueer cyborg and lifelong denizen of Seattle, with a love of muddy beaches to show for it. Their fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies and Metaphorosis, their poetry in Mermaids Monthly and on select King County Metro bus terminals. You can find Devin and their cat on Twitter @devzmiller.
Current Issue
20 Mar 2023

Strange Horizons will be open to fiction submissions on April 26th, 2023, at 9 a.m. UTC! To keep our response times manageable and submission windows more frequent, there will be a 1,000-story cap on submissions.
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Welcome, fellow walkers of the jianghu.
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