Size / / /

Content warning:


Each night I bid good evening to the great mass in my closet. Turn off the lights, turn on the fan, crawl into bed. It's getting harder now, to fall asleep, knowing what is coming, but 3 milligrams of melatonin does its job neat and tidy. I fall asleep on my back, hands splayed wide. I dream but do not remember.

The next night, I lie outside my closet doors for hours. Aching in the moonlight, I find it hard to breathe. I cannot sleep so I read The Metamorphosis, eyes wide and unfocused, words blurring like cars speeding down the street. I long to change instead of haunt. I dream of breaking the lineage.

I can feel it coming. Tonight I watch through the window carefully, butcher knife in hand. I know my focus should lie elsewhere. Tears keep escaping from my eyes and I white-knuckle the knife as if somehow that will stop the blade from rusting. The curtains all around me are a burial shroud, my last savior from the inside world. I dream of flowers on my grave.

My record player is broken again. I can no longer listen to Moonlight Sonata. I try to trace the grooves myself, dirty fingernails up on pointe. The scratching doesn't block out the call though. I disconnected my phone and found it here, in my head. I dream of my hands bound, tied to everyone before and after me.

The thing in my closet is bringing me home. I guess I’ve put it off long enough. I taste the raw steak I had for dinner, my last refuge from humanity. I should be ready, I know, and at least I’m prepared; dressed all in white, I am something to behold. I cannot brush my hair before I go, I can’t make myself do it. Even my hands refuse to move for once. I do not dream.

(You need not be afraid, you were born for this)



Alexis LaMantia is a poet-and-punk born and raised in New Jersey. They have a penchant for the queer, the morbid, and the holy. Find them on Twitter: @amjlamantia.
Current Issue
20 May 2024

The Lunar Colony AI Begins to Build a Monument to the Programmer’s Father 
You can see him / because you imagine reconciliation.
The Spindle of Necessity 
Andrew was convinced the writer had been trans. By this point his friends were tired of hearing about it, but he had no one else to tell besides the internet, and he was too smart for that. That would be asking for it.
SONNET FOR THE UNBELIEVER 
It’s your turn now. / the bombs have come in the same temper— / you in your granny’s frame
Monday: After World by Debbie Urbanski 
Wednesday: Same Bed Different Dreams by Ed Park 
Friday: The Hard Switch by Owen D. Pomery 
Issue 13 May 2024
Issue 6 May 2024
Issue 29 Apr 2024
Issue 15 Apr 2024
By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
Issue 8 Apr 2024
Issue 1 Apr 2024
Issue 25 Mar 2024
By: Sammy Lê
Art by: Kim Hu
Issue 18 Mar 2024
Strange Horizons
Issue 11 Mar 2024
Issue 4 Mar 2024
Load More