By Nancy Hightower

what man would love a woman

famine fed, with old gods

chasing her into strange houses?

I am ruth, the widow who lusts

for milk and honey.


there is a time

to go hunting among the reapers,

husking my hunger until i find

a table among the living,

a place where I can swaddle myself

in peaches and berries

until I grow sweet once more.


then there is harvest:

the dying and gathering,

three men already swept up by the sickle,

and my every step haunted by Death.

still you lay down on the threshing floor,

eyes closed, waiting to see

who will reach you first.



Nancy Hightower’s short fiction and poetry has been published in Strange Horizons, Word Riot, storySouth, Gargoyle, Interfictions, Prick of the Spindle, and The New York Quarterly, among others.  Her debut novel Elementari Rising came out with Pink Narcissus Press in 2013, and her poetry “The Acolyte” will be published by Port Yonder Press. She currently reviews science fiction and fantasy for The Washington Post.

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