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Featured Poem II • November 2016


After Midnight


Mari Ness


The bruises shine through the mask on your face, clashing with the sapphires choking your neck. Diamonds hide only so much, and feathers nothing at all. You stumble in your glittering shoes. Those feet have never quite healed.   Oh child, child—   In the streets, the crowds mutter angry words. The nobles shift restlessly in their silk. The swords glitter in the dull lights of torches.                          —if only you had seen.   I loved you more than my own true daughters. Their imperfect skin I scrubbed to an ordinary glow. Yours, I covered with ashes, to keep you safe from princes.



Mari Ness lives in central Florida. Her work has previously appeared in Tor.com, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Daily Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Uncanny, Strange Horizons, and many other locations—including here in Mythic Delirium. For a longer list, check out her official webpage at marikness.wordpress.com, and to keep up with what she’s up to, including snarking about Disney films on Tor.com and television in general, follow her on Twitter at @mari_ness.



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