Size / / /

for Erik Amundsen

Over the damp-blackened slates, the harbor

lights douse and sizzle in the sloping rain,

heaps of cables, netted crates, sacks of grain

unloaded under oilskins; no ship's master

on these docks, signaling like a wrecker,

but what swarms to my lantern in a skein

of foxfire and the bruised scent of vervain

could never drown: I glimpse them only after

their faces have fragmented into earth,

their coldly limned bones, leaf-rags of clothing

restitched, enfleshed within this storm-shot gleam

where my fingers cramp with winter and warmth

invisibly: this candle guides none living,

only the ghosts of children through my dreams.

Sonya Taaffe reads dead languages and tells living stories. Her short fiction and poetry have been collected most recently in the Lambda-nominated Forget the Sleepless Shores (Lethe Press) and previously in Singing Innocence and Experience, Postcards from the Province of HyphensA Mayse-Bikhl, and Ghost Signs. She lives with one of her husbands and both of her cats in Somerville, Massachusetts, where she writes about film for Patreon and remains proud of naming a Kuiper Belt object.
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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