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There are things besides coyotes to watch for out here,
there are things besides buzzards that flap off for cover,
or scurry away when the train rumbles by in a hurry.
I’ve ranged on this land over decades now,
know all the creatures that man’s given name:
from the curve of the snake to the lizard half-hid,
every beaver and groundhog and musk rat.
Then things there are, too, that don’t match with them—
stare at your throat, not your boots or your hands.
When you catch one atop of the carrion
they first size you up for a fight,
maybe weigh you for living or dead, too.
They like for their meals to be dead; it’s less work but
they sometimes won’t wait for that long.
So keep bolts on your doors if you're sick
so no thing comes to gather you early.
I range this broad land in a saddle now
so the beasts of the dark that aren’t possum
or coon, armadillo, can’t roam without check,
without fences or foe on these plains.
But I’m older as well as cannier now, and won’t be around for much longer.
If you see something strange from a distance—
a creature that looks somehow wrong to you—
trust in your eyes, son, do trust your eyes.
I have seen and have fought these things, too.



Bethany Powell stumbled into speculative verse on the scrubby plains of Oklahoma and has been in a fateful relationship ever since. The products have appeared in Asimov's, Liminality, and the solarpunk anthology Sunvault. More are forthcoming, and all can be found at bethanypowell.com
Current Issue
16 May 2022

we are whispered into this new land, this old land, whispered anew
i tuck myselves under coffin nails. and then i am the sun like a nairobi fly, burning spine and skin.
The last deer in heaven flees, and Sestu pursues.
Wednesday: The Anthropocene Unconscious: Climate Catastrophe in Contemporary Culture by Mark Bould 
Friday: Spear by Nicola Griffith 
Issue 9 May 2022
Podcast: 9 May Poetry 
Issue 2 May 2022
By: Eric Wang
By: Sara S. Messenger
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Podcast read by: Sara S. Messenger
Issue 18 Apr 2022
By: Blaize Kelly Strothers
By: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Blaize Kelly Strothers
Podcast read by: Ken Haponek
Podcast read by: Ciro Faienza
Issue 11 Apr 2022
Issue 4 Apr 2022
Issue 28 Mar 2022
Issue 21 Mar 2022
By: Devin Miller
Art by: Alex Pernau
Podcast read by: Courtney Floyd
Issue 14 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
Issue 7 Mar 2022
Strange Horizons
28 Feb 2022
We would like stories that are joyous, horrific, hopeful, despondent, powerful and subtle. Write something that will take our breath away, make us yell and cry. Write unapologetically in your local patois and basilects in space; make references to local events and memes to your heart’s content. Write something that makes you laugh and cry. Indulge in all the hallmarks of your heritage that you find yourself yearning for in speculative literature, but know that we will not judge you based on your authenticity as a Southeast Asian. 
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