Making Accommodations


A paper can be folded seven times.

Each crease across my origami skin

is sharp enough to slice. I’ve tried to thin

my bones and sinews, ink myself in lines


so small, so shrinking, safe to overlook—

passed between palms, a secret note in school,

crumpled and cast into a fire as fuel,

or pressed between the pages of a book


and fast forgotten. Still, I seem to spread

like maps of unmourned continents, shredded

confetti scattered to the careless wind.

Whole sheets of me unfurl above your head,

stretch out beneath your feet, a carpeted

offense. Forgive me. This is my last bend.


(Editors’ Note: “Making Accommodations” is read by Joy Piedmont on the Uncanny Magazine Podcast, Episode 37B.)


Valerie Valdes

Valerie Valdes’s work has been featured in Uncanny Magazine, Time Travel Short Stories, and Nightmare Magazine. Her debut novel Chilling Effect was named one of Library Journal’s best SF/fantasy novels of 2019; the sequel, Prime Deceptions, is available now. Join her in opining about books, video games and parenting on Twitter @valerievaldes.

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