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1. Dancing child, poison-turner, lifter
of mountaintops, not even Kaliya
could carry your weight. Can I?

2. Statues say I hold you.
Paintings call you light as arctic summer
stars we never see. Art lies.

3. You love the hand I stretch out
always out. That strength. When it clutches nothing,
clenches, when fingernails break skin,
when I scream, what then?

4. I have never been strong.

5. Always stopped for breath
I couldn't find, carried
more than I could, trudged stubborn

6. and loved you.




Shweta Narayan was born in India and has lived in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Scotland, and California. They feel kinship with shapeshifters and other liminal beings. Their short fiction and poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Mithila Review, Breaking the Bow: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Ramayana, We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology, An Alphabet of Embers: An Anthology of Unclassifiables, Lightspeed: Queers Destroy Fantasy, and Clockwork Phoenix 3, among others. Shweta was the Octavia Butler Memorial Scholarship recipient at Clarion 2007 and was shortlisted for the 2010 Nebula Awards.
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