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The unicorn that lived on the edge of town had been
missing for quite some time, since I was still a girl with
cotton skin and a stitched-on little mouth. I bump into
them at the corner store for the first time in years,
buying milk, like me. They had sold their house,
quit their job and gone seeing the world. They saw a
narwhal. Did I know people used to peddle narwhal
tusks, touting them as unicorn horns? Damn swindlers.
Narwhals are pretty cool, too. They don’t deserve that.
Where does the unicorn live now, then? Oh, just, here,
there. In the middle of the woods, mostly. What have I
been up to these years? I shrug. I got a job, but buying
a house? Pfft. Seeing the world—well, that’d be nice.
“I’m not a virgin anymore,” I say to them. They snort.
I don’t know how to take that. Only I remember petting
them when I was so much younger, when the autumn
leaves hadn’t fallen from the trees one too many times
for me to notice anymore. The unicorn’s gentleness then.
But they still nudge my head with their nose now,
let me stroke their fur. At my touch, their horn glows
a universe of colours, like the years poured back
from one cracked jar into a perfect basin, like this
autumn right here was the crispiest, most golden
autumn that had ever been. —You’re still bisexual, aren’t you?
Oh. Is that what makes me worthy of a unicorn’s love?
“I’m still bisexual… I think.” I glance skyward, waiting
for them to simply eviscerate me. What kind of fool has sex
with a man, lets him crawl into her bed night after
night, the same man, week into week into year, and still
doesn’t know if she likes men? People of other genders,
yes, I know without even kissing their ghosts in my dreams
that I’m attracted to them. Men, though. Who knows?
Who knows, even when his mouth is on the skin
beneath my bottommost rib, even when my hand won’t let
go of his hair. But the unicorn doesn’t run me through.
They just laugh, their horn projecting the whole night sky
of constellations onto my dark shirt, a swirl of stardust in pink,
in purple, in blue, sweeping across my chest, expanding.



Cynthia So was born in Hong Kong and lives in London. Their work can be found in Uncanny, GlitterShip, Cast of Wonders, and elsewhere. They are also one of the new voices in Proud, an anthology of LGBTQ+ YA stories, poems, and art by LGBTQ+ creators, published by Stripes in March 2019. They can be found on Twitter @cynaesthete.
Current Issue
1 Dec 2020

A toda la gente lectora: esperamos que disfruten mucho este especial de México de Strange Horizons. To all readers: we hope you enjoy this special issue from Mexico by Strange Horizons.
Onka miyek tlajle. Se lamajtsin itsintlan se xalxokokojtle kitlajkwilia etl.
The painful stigmata did not let me drive for long. / El doloroso estigma no me permitió conducir.
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Ateri Miyawatl
Hay mucha tierra. Una anciana sentada bajo un árbol de guayaba limpia frijol negro.
By: Ateri Miyawatl
Translated by: Adam Coon
There is a lot of earth. An elderly woman gathers beans below a guava tree.
—Soy un tlacuache y tengo la culpa de tu extinción, Armando.
“I am a tlacuache, and your extinction is my fault, Armando.”
En el fondo del mar no hay poetas, sólo criaturas fotovoltaicas y paisajes sombríos.
By: Vraiux Dorós
Translated by: Toshiya Kamei
No poets are found at the bottom of the sea—only photovoltaic creatures and ghostly landscapes.
Manx was an amorphous alien made of pink slime, lard, and buttercream.
By: Luz Rosales
Translated by: Andrea Chapela
Manx era un alienígena amorfo rosa, hecho de babaza, manteca y crema para batir.
La materia oscura abarca ochenta por ciento del universo y, como el agar en un medio de cultivo, es lo que permite que estructuras como cúmulos o galaxias permanezcan unidas.
Dark matter makes up eighty percent of the universe. Like agar culture medium, this is what holds things like galaxy clusters—and galaxies themselves—together.
She checks the knob and the door is unlocked—she pokes her head through. Smoke from burning sage wraps around her.
Toma el picaporte y, al girarlo, descubre que la casa está abierta. Cuando se asoma, la golpea un olor a salvia quemada.
La evoco ahora: la tarde fría, el jardín insólito, las enredaderas, los pináculos, los charcos en curiosas figuras chinescas.
I see it now: the cold afternoon, the curious garden, the climbing vines, the pinnacles, the oddly-shaped puddles like Chinese letters.
I thought it was one of those reserved for tourists and ignorant throats. / pensé que era uno de esos reservados para turistas y catadores ignorantes.
drinking the symphony of the galactic parrot / bebe la sinfonia del pájaro galáctico / sk’upinbe sk’ejoj mutal yut vinajel
Some Mexican visual artists that I've really been loving are Miguel Covarrubias, Emilio Amero, and particularly Ernesto García Cabral.
Issue 23 Nov 2020
By: Michael Bazzett
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Michael Bazzett
Issue 16 Nov 2020
By: Cat Aquino
Podcast read by: Kat Kourbeti
By: Michael Chang
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Nov 2020
By: Miyuki Jane Pinckard
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
Issue 2 Nov 2020
By: Allison Mulvihill
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ali Trotta
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 19 Oct 2020
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Aber O. Grand
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 12 Oct 2020
By: Elisabeth R. Moore
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Stephanie Jean
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 5 Oct 2020
By: J.L. Akagi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Lesley Wheeler
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Lesley Wheeler
Issue 28 Sep 2020
By: Maggie Damken
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 21 Sep 2020
By: Aqdas Aftab
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: David Clink
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 14 Sep 2020
By: Fargo Tbakhi
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Blackford
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
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