Issue 43 (July 2014)
Telegrams bottled on premise! Delivered anywhere within Texaca for a small fee!
Rene skims the letters printed on the spotless glass window of the telegram office. The sun behind her blots out most of her reflection in the glass, bleaching her brown skin translucent. She straightens the collar of her sweat-soaked shirt. She has a change of clothes in her satchel, but they are even dirtier than the ones she is wearing. Ever since she arrived in Texaca four days ago, she has been cold and hungry and tired and dirty.
They’ll kill your friend. That’s what happens to guards who end up inside. It isn’t pretty.
The warden speaks through a screen of roses. He is fond of roses – so fond, in fact, that he grows his own in an atmospherically-sealed green-house beside the exercise yard, tending them personally on weekends. His hybrids fetch a pretty penny off-world.
Switch says nothing.
The day Jeff and Rodrigo married was the day they found the baby Finman on their front porch. They’d just returned home from the courthouse where, after waiting in line for five hours, the justice of the peace announced them husband and husband. The Finman was crouched into the corner of the porch, leaning against the house. They wouldn’t even have discerned it from the shadows had it not been for Rodrigo, whose sense of smell was impeccable.
I have been trying to remember something.
It’s lost like car keys, like the song on the tip of your tongue. I can’t seem trace my steps, but I write down the few things I do remember.
begins in their struggle.
Meat comes to meet light screaming
and gasping for plants’ benevolent breath.