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Fantasy

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The Ancestors

Every Chinese family celebrates Ching Ming a little differently.  Not everyone burns paper money at the cemetery like they teach us at Multicultural Day at school. My family has a barbeque at the beach where we sail paper ships out to sea.  The Pacific Ocean reaches from California to the coast of Canton, so our […]

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Songbird

I wear armor under my skin It grew there, over my squishy snail self Rose-bloom bruises, a whole bouquet A callus on a callus on a callus Fractals spreading like chain mail, hard and yellow Indelible, impossible as Your indifference that glances right off Shailaja sings, you know. They claim she is a bird trapped […]

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Millepora

Most of the others have not adapted as well as I have.  Oh, we’re all equal now, rooted and still — what is there to fight about? — but the boy next to me is in pain, he keeps craning his neck up to see the sky, and I want to say to him: be […]

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All Souls Proceed

The unfamiliar townscape rolls past, a glare of light and bleached-bone stone under weedy mesquite. I don’t know where I am. The whole town is low-slung and the same, framed by raw mountains on every side, and the sun is always hard. I roll down a big road. At the side of the road stands […]

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Love Letters on the Nightmare Sea

I thought the tendriled horrors were angels when we woke at sea that disastrous night and saw them falling on the waters. Now, Suneeti, on this abandoned island, they are radiant in the setting sun, their translucence licked gold by dusk. The first one crashed onto the deck of our little boat. Its body was […]

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Sister Margo’s Heart

A sister’s heart is a cube, quartz clear, the size of a fist, suspended in the hollow interior of her porcelain chest. When Sister Margo’s heart began to beat again, she was immediately afraid that the other sisters would hear it and somehow stop it. It was the baker’s boy’s fault that it began to […]

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The Retelling of Jeremiah

There wasn’t much left to pack. The final box, only half full, had the last of the comics and journals from Jeremiah’s childhood. There was the inventory, of course, but he’d hired movers for that. So many dreams being stored away. Jeremiah stroked the cover of a Conan comic, and it ripped under his touch. […]

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A Revolution in Four Courses

First Course Rathwan’s in Kur district is a study in white on white, the floor tile and tables arranged in a tessellation of rectangles whose sides matched the holy ratio of seven to three. Rathwan’s is empty today, save for one table, one lone guest — the Gedt general whose soldiers now pillage and loot […]

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Hoarfrost

When the first snow falls, it burns. The other women dance in the flurry without me, beneath a moon clouded by giants’ breath. Snowflakes spin into their open mouths and dust their outstretched hands. They dance that winter’s planting will be done, that their wombs will spill over with its seed. They dance that summer’s […]

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To the Havens

“Sarge? There’s a–thing–I’ve found at Pier Seventeen. I think you need to see this.” The voice on the other end of the line held just a hint of a quaver. George Aklaq grimaced at his screen. Trust the new kid to find trouble twenty minutes before the end of a shift, and just before his […]

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