Size / / /

Armor for Main Street,

Armor to face the world in, day by day.

A borrowed shape to fold your heart away,

More powerful than I have worn before.

A tough hide, used to smoking every night,

That's heard a lot of bad jazz in its time.

I put it on and belt it round my waist,

And all the dark minds that wore it in years past

Stand up again and walk the world with me,

Strengthen my acts.

Here's your own world, bounded by one coat:

Buttons to close, a cold smooth front to wear.

A collar to turn up hard,

As action suits the word, to sneer and walk away.

Pockets that could hold a .22,

A wallet, a passport, a postcard from out East,

Your hands when you are baffled in the end.

Just shove them in and drift off down the street,

No one will trouble you.

A belt, if you can tie it right,

Will hold you up and walking for a long time.

For a guy, long skirts and stone-cold manliness.

For a woman, broad shoulders,

A soldier's shape, hard angles, edge-sharp beauty.

I wish for rain day after day, to wear it all the time.

It could catch a bullet in its elbow crease,

More than lawman, beggar, brute, or thief,

It holds my splinters in sharp strappy shape,

My waterproof and worldproof loan of strength.




April Grant lives in Boston. Her backstory includes time as a sidewalk musician, real estate agent, public historian, dishwasher, and librarian. Among her hobbies are biking and ruin appreciation.
Current Issue
25 May 2020

Standing in a boxlike room. I see my feet. Yellow-blue light, like fog.
By: Dana Wilde
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
In this episode of the Strange Horizons podcast, editor Ciro Faienza presents Dana Wilde's “Abductions.”
"I still wonder why there’s never been a Worldcon in Abuja, Nairobi, Dakar, or Windhoek."
I didn’t expect this story to be so bonkers actually.
Issue 18 May 2020
By: Johnny Compton
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jong-Ki Lim
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 May 2020
By: Gabriela Santiago
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Ashley Bao
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 4 May 2020
By: Vida Cruz
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Raimo Kangasniemi
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 20 Apr 2020
By: Tamara Jerée
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: L. D. Lewis
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: L. D. Lewis
Issue 13 Apr 2020
By: Jo Miles
Art by: Galen Dara
By: Jo Miles
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Jasmeet Dosanjh
Issue 6 Apr 2020
By: Elizabeth Crowe
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Shuyi Yin
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Shuyi Yin
By: Nome Emeka Patrick
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 30 Mar 2020
By: Jason P Burnham
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Tara Calaby
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Kaily Dorfman
By: Camille Louise Goering
By: Brian Beatty
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Kaily Dorfman
Podcast read by: Brian Beatty
Issue 23 Mar 2020
Issue 16 Mar 2020
By: Lisa Nan Joo
Podcast read by: Anaea Lay
By: Jenny Thompson
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
100 African Writers of SFF - Part Fifteen: Ghana
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