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“What is the heart’s shape?” one girl asks.
They have only known love
at its most Janus-faced, joy and pain,
and know nothing of the in-between.

Their mopey lyrics and sighing doodles
make the heart seem flat, cut out of
paper. So I take them to the prosectorium
and dare them. “See a real heart.”

They are shy, wise as brides
in veils of eyelet lace. What they know
peeks through. In the cadaver, they see finally
that the heart is not a delicate thing,

a foldable, burnable thing
but strong. A muscle. A fist of blood.
A spelunker’s cave where the
Minotaur roams.

Then a curtain is drawn
on the corpse’s face, a shiny, waxy thing.
Behind the eyes, the brain,
two lobes of it, looking lumpen in its labyrinth.

“Where is the seat of the soul?” I ask them.
Around the table, they look up, my girls,
faces corona-bright.
The answers are somewhere borne up

on the palanquin of their girlhood. In the arms
of lovers, over the corpse of tamed bulls,
or even alone, perhaps they will think on
the heart’s irregular shape, the brain’s symmetry—

and know the true form of things.



Genevieve DeGuzman was born in the Philippines, raised in Southern California, and graduated from Columbia University. Her fiction and poetry appear or are forthcoming in Indigo Lit, LONTAR, Liminality, Rising Phoenix Review, and AJ (now Tablet), among others. She is a winner of the Oregon Poetry Association New Poets Contest and has been awarded a residency at Can Serrat. She currently lives in Portland, Oregon. Learn more at: about.me/genevievedeguzman
Current Issue
29 Nov 2021

It is perhaps fitting, therefore, that our donor's choice special issue for 2021 is titled—simply—Friendship.
The year before this, the girls at school had called her Little Lila .
Pictures of me that day are kept in the ship’s files, sent back to Earth to be used in my captors’ eventual war crimes tribunals.
Perhaps a new urban system of star navigation is needed
This world, covered in spectral ebullience, was tied together by bows of light
Are you a good witch / or a bad witch? / as if there’s an answer earned, inscribed in bubbles reflecting an inverse crown.
When does the pursuit of pure thought, pure idealism, pure escapism become detrimental?
Wednesday: The Best of World SF, Volume 1, edited by Lavie Tidhar 
Friday: Anti-Life by Vee Tat Lam 
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
Issue 25 Oct 2021
Strange Horizons
Issue 18 Oct 2021
By: K. Ceres Wright
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Oct 2021
By: Lisabelle Tay
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
Issue 4 Oct 2021
By: Anthony Okpunor
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Oct 2021
Podcast: Fund Drive 2021 Poetry 
By: Michael Meyerhofer
By: Wale Ayinla
Podcast read by: Michael Meyerhofer
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
29 Sep 2021
Opening to fiction submissions for the month of November!
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