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I ate all my greens. I was a good kid. My heart chewed into a leaf. The wind took it. The sky, blank & meditating, bore witness to everything. How spoon carves into soup, like key trying to find its lock. Funny that the Chinese spinach has no known origin despite its name. This weed that took over continents & colonies. This hollowness sprouting along rivers, waiting to be steeped in oyster sauce. In Southeast Asia, we say kangkong. In the school bus, I recognise the sizzling of Hokkien and Malay slurs. Their sodium stench stains my tofu skin, even after hours of scrubbing. In bed, I bend over to a boy who refuses to finish his vegetables. He plucks tender shoots off his plate, forms tablecloth trash pile. He is a spice I have learnt to swallow; his grease simmering inside. I smell nothing about my childhood in him: the hawkers’ wok-song, the cleaners’ cart-rattle, the sweat-stained seats. We were good kids. And yet, moulded from different recipes: he was preserved in garden salad & I, stir-fried with garlic. We weren’t lovers, just weeds in the city. Blades of dried grass emerging from asphalt. A variegation of rootlessness.

 

¹ water spinach



Andy Winter (they/them/theirs) is a non-binary ice goddess living in the warm tropics of Singapore. They dream of queer kampungs and celestial realms. They do not wish to be perceived. Find their chilling words at https://whispersinwinter.wordpress.com/.
Current Issue
22 Apr 2024

We’d been on holiday at the Shoon Sea only three days when the incident occurred. Dr. Gar had been staying there a few months for medical research and had urged me and my friend Shooshooey to visit.
...
Tu enfiles longuement la chemise des murs,/ tout comme d’autres le font avec la chemise de la mort.
The little monster was not born like a human child, yelling with cold and terror as he left his mother’s womb. He had come to life little by little, on the high, three-legged bench. When his eyes had opened, they met the eyes of the broad-shouldered sculptor, watching them tenderly.
Le petit monstre n’était pas né comme un enfant des hommes, criant de froid et de terreur au sortir du ventre maternel. Il avait pris vie peu à peu, sur la haute selle à trois pieds, et quand ses yeux s’étaient ouverts, ils avaient rencontré ceux du sculpteur aux larges épaules, qui le regardaient tendrement.
We're delighted to welcome Nat Paterson to the blog, to tell us more about his translation of Léopold Chauveau's story 'The Little Monster'/ 'Le Petit Monstre', which appears in our April 2024 issue.
You take your time putting on the shirt of the walls,/ just as others might put on the shirt of death.
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By: Ana Hurtado
Art by: delila
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Art by: Kim Hu
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Issue 19 Feb 2024
Issue 12 Feb 2024
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