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The plumber says well it can’t
be a wolf that I hear howling at night,
we don’t get wolves around here.

Around here, we don’t get wolves
slinking past our windowpanes or leaving
pawprints in the mud by the front gate.

In the mud by the front gate, pawprints
tracked a path to the welcome mat
this morning. Like a fool I swept them away.

I swept them away this morning, like a fool
believing my word would be enough
for the plumber fixing my pipes.

Fixing my pipes, for the plumber,
is a simple thing. He whistles gently as I tell him
about the yellow eyes I saw last night.

The yellow eyes I saw last night, about
the same shape as his, but larger, shine brighter as
the moon leans in close to laugh at me.

To laugh at me the moon leans in close
and trails its fingers down my spine.
I twitch and spill my coffee a second time.

A second time, I twitch and spill my coffee
on the plumber’s boots. He smiles.
The dark seeps in faster underneath the lights.

Underneath the lights, the dark seeps in faster,
howling at night. Can it be a wolf that I hear?
Well, it can’t, the plumber says.

Kaily Dorfman was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She has an MA in English literature from UC Santa Barbara, and a BA in the same field from UC Berkeley. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Irvine.
Current Issue
26 Sep 2022

Would a Teixcalaanli aristocrat look up at the sky, think of Lsel Station, and wonder—with Auden—"what doubtful act allows/ Our freedom in this English house/ our picnics in the sun"?
I propose that The Expanse and its ilk present us with a similar sentiment, in reverse—a warning that for all the promise of futurism and technological advancement, plenty of new, and perhaps much worse futures are right before us. In the course of outrunning la vieux monde, we may find that we are awaited not simply by new worlds to win, but also many more which may yet be lost.
where oil slurped up out of the dirt, they drink the coffee
Science fiction is a genre that continues to struggle with its own colonialist history, of which many of its portrayals of extractivism are a part. Science fiction is also a genre that has a history of being socially progressive and conscious – these are both truths.
Bring my stones, my bones, back to me
If we are to accept that the extractive unconscious is latent, is everywhere, part of everything, but unseen and unspoken, and killing us in our waking lives, then science fiction constitutes its dreams.
they are quoting Darwish at the picket & i am finally breathing again
Waste is profoundly shaping and changing our society and our way of living. Our daily mundane world always treats waste as a hidden structure, together with its whole ecosystem, and places it beyond our sight, to maintain the glories of contemporary life. But unfortunately, some are advantaged by this, while others suffer.
Like this woman, I am carrying the world on my back.
So we’re talking about a violence that supplants the histories of people and things, scrubbing them clean so that they can fuel the oppressive and unequal status quo it sustains.
Issue 21 Sep 2022
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By: Cat T.
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