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 is a co-editor of Escape Pod and the author of the Chilling Effect trilogy. Her next novel, Where Peace Is Lost, is forthcoming in 2023. Her short fiction and poetry have been featured in Uncanny Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, and several anthologies. In her spare time, she streams video games on Twitch and roleplays with the Strange Friends crew. She lives in Georgia with her husband, children and cats.

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