Size / / /

She cannot wear silk—

Too much static electricity.

She cannot wear jewels—

He is jealous of the metal,

Lest it outshine his sleek

And gleaming self.

Instead she wears

Cotton clothes and canvas

Slippers with rubber-crepe soles.

At night, she oils his rod,

His reel, his gears, his engine,

Her little fist sliding over the pistons,

Glistening in the treble moonlight.

She wishes again that she had been

Given to a man, sent to service

Flesh instead of steel, who

Would have a heart that might

In time warm to a woman—

Not a coldly clicking thing

Showing through a glass pane

In a riveted chest.

Some nights, after he leaves,

She sits on the windowsill

Staring into the night,

Towards the market

Where alien merchants sell silk,

And even, in winter,


Elizabeth Barrette writes poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in the fields of speculative fiction, gender studies, and alternative spirituality. She serves as Dean of Studies for the Grey School of Wizardry. She hosts a monthly Poetry Fishbowl on her blog. She enjoys suspension-of-disbelief bungee jumping and spelunking in other people's reality tunnels. You can email Elizabeth at, and see more of Elizabeth's work in the books Companion for the Apprentice Wizard and Composing Magic, and in our archives.
Current Issue
28 Nov 2022

The comb is kept in a small case and a magnifying glass is there for you
Know that the end / is something that you cannot escape here.
I wanted to ask francophone African speculative authors how they feel, how non-Black francophone African authors relate to the controversy, but also how they position themselves either as Afrofuturists or Africanfuturists, or as neither.
The new idea is to have the sixth sensors oversee the end of humanity.
By: RiverFlow
Translated by: Emily Jin
In conclusion, I argue that SF fanzines in China mostly played a transitional role. That is, when no professional platforms were available to publish articles and stories, fanzines stepped in. Though most of those fanzines did not last very long, they played the important role of compiling and delivering information. The key reason why I identify those magazines as fanzines is because all the contributors joined out of their interest in SF and worked for free.
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