Size / / /

CONTENT WARNING:



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
10 Feb 2020

This house was too small for six people, woefully so, but it’s too big for one; the empty rooms fill up with spirits.
By: Shannon Sanders
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Anaea Lay presents Shannon Sanders's “Company.”
Please follow the instructions for reading this poem: 1. Imagine a cage. Any cage, of any size. 2. Love the cage. The cage is your friend.
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Gabriel Ascencio Morales's “Abstraction,” with a designed sound environment.
Issue 3 Feb 2020
By: Ada Hoffmann
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: S.R. Tombran
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 27 Jan 2020
By: Weston Richey
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Jan 2020
By: Justin C. Key
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessica P. Wick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 13 Jan 2020
By: Julianna Baggott
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Terese Mason Pierre
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Terese Mason Pierre
Issue 6 Jan 2020
By: Mitchell Shanklin
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Nikoline Kaiser
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 23 Dec 2019
By: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Maya Chhabra
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 16 Dec 2019
By: Osahon Ize-Iyamu
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Liu Chengyu
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 9 Dec 2019
By: SL Harris
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jessy Randall
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 2 Dec 2019
By: Sheldon Costa
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Mari Ness
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 25 Nov 2019
By: Nisa Malli
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Nisa Malli
Load More
%d bloggers like this: