8:2: “Grace in the Desert”, by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff...

The desert angels come for us at day break.
I see them skimming over barren sand dunes,
leathery wings stretched wide like alabaster nightmares,
mottled with the blood-red light of sunrise through the haze.

“Look,” I say, and heave my lover’s corpse more upright,
“here they are, they want us still, despite our sins—
we shall rise up and greet the morning in their arms.
I told you not to go and die too soon—just look, they come!”

Such lovely dreams these hovering angels bring,
their kisses sweet as honey on my waiting, thirsting lips,
flood down my throat with singing, stinging grace,
erasing all dim memories of the time before they came.

No more now shall I have to face the image of my father’s scorn,
the haunting picture of our friends and family lining up
to cast us out, and make us journey though the shifting sands,
hand in dry hand, together always as we swore we’d always be.

And when the angels feed I can not feel it, can not see more
than their lovely, bleak, inhuman faces, painted on
the sand-pale skin along their ray-flat undersides, nuzzling,
nibbling with their suckered mouths, at our joined hands.

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff is a writer/poet from the west coast of Canada, where she exists on high levels of caffeine and stress. Her work has appeared in such publications as Weird Tales, Strange Horizons, Dreams & Nightmares, and Mythic Delirium. Her latest poetry collection, Through the Window: A Journey to the Borderlands of Faerie, has been nominated for an Aurora Award. It is available through Amazon. She says:

Once upon a time, while working on my world building, I envisioned a very hot planet, with large deserts. In those deserts I placed a race of creatures called desert angels, so called because they were the last thing people journeying through the desert would see before meeting their god. “Grace in the Desert” is the product of recent thoughts about that world.

7:2: “Princess”, by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff...

Callie in the streets by daylight
dancing to the traffic noise,
strutting proudly down the sidewalk,
grinning at the passing boys,
stops beside a snoring wino,
insects crawling on his skin,
tilts and drains his dreg-lined bottle,
drinks another soulmate in.

Callie in the streets by twilight,
roaches weaving through her hair,
braiding it like Disney bluebirds
into something rich and fair,
pauses by a grimy food cart,
smiling as she shakes her head
to its owner’s posted menu,
seeks out something else instead.

Callie in the streets at midnight
sings her sweet and regal song
to the strains of heavy metal,
calling on her loyal throng,
watches as they swarm about her,
offerings piled on their backs—
pretzel crumbs, a half-chewed hot dog,
someone’s ear, and other snacks.


Marcie Lynn Tentchoff is an Aurora Award winning poet/writer from the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in such magazines as On Spec, Weird Tales, Talebones, and Illumen, as well as in various anthologies and online publications.


“Princess” is a mixture of one part Disney movies, to two parts Vancouver’s East Hastings Street, stirred with my all too-present twisted girly streak.

6:4: “The Dance of the Seven Veils”, by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff...

Salome,” he calls to me,
the stranger from another world,
who looks so much the same as us,
but is so different skin to skin.

“Salome, come dance for me,
you know the one I like the best.”
He leers, and slumps back in his chair,
a flask of helljuice in his hand.

Salome, a legend’s name.
I fix a smile upon my face
and peel the first dry veil away,
the flaking stratum corneum.

“Salome.” I turn my back,
lucidum, granulosum drop,
my every step exposing more
of me to his flesh-hungry eyes.

“Salome.” A whisper now.
His eyes are glazed, his breath is hot,
I twist and writhe a serpent’s dance,
the layers falling faster still.

“Salome,” he groans and pants.
I spin and let the last veil fall,
ignoring that much-hated name
to kneel down, bleeding, at his feet.

Marcie Lynn Tentchoff is an Aurora Award winning poet/writer from the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in On Spec, Weird Tales, Dreams and Nightmares, and Illumen, as well as in various anthologies and online publications.

“The Dance of the Seven Veils” was inspired by an article I read that described the seven layers of the human skin.

4:2: “The Water Sprite’s Lament” by Marcie Lynn Tentchoff...

She can’t understand
but listens to their weeping
for the men she’s claimed
and tries to mimic sorrow
with her dripping hair.



Marcie Lynn Tentchoff lives on the west coast of Canada. Her work has appeared in various magazines including On Spec, Weird Tales, Aoife’s Kiss, and Talebones, as well as in anthologies and online publications.
The Water Sprite’s Lament is the latest example of my fascination with the alien quality of magical beings, though this specific instance might have been sparked by my young daughter’s bath time. One of the words in the poem was Muse-inspired, but the rest were my own idea.