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What I saw had no solidity, it was all made of mist and nylon, with nothing behind.
—Anna Kavan, Ice                

In the second year of our relationship
the insurance company decides I do not exist.
I pinch my forearm: I am real.
My social security number remains unaccepted:
I am not. I go out to the garden
to prop the seven-foot-tall American Giant
sunflower up against the severing fall winds.
Its stalk feels strong enough
to pin my body back to the earth.
There is pain and there is stillness.
Knees up on the table, shaking with both
after the dark red clumps had stopped sloughing
from my cervix. The cancer-reducing procedure’s
complications. The clumps like raw chicken livers
I once watched a man beat with eggs and quinoa
in a silver bowl to feed to his dog.
I would assume they understood
what it meant to be real. The distant windmills
tiny and spare. A single cormorant standing
and raising his wings to the sun, beckoning.
The sunflowers grow tall
and stay standing long after the others fall
the seed catalogue singsongs.
Long after has arrived and gone without ceremony
or as much as a hand squeeze before they leave you,
wiping the speculum and tossing plastic gloves in the trash.
Lying still I can feel the men pouring liquid aluminum
into my veins like the anthill in the video.
I know how they filled
the empty space, then pulled
everything from the ground to show
us a thousand, tiny, lifeless metal rooms.

Emmy Newman’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Permafrost, Poetry Northwest, CALYX, New Ohio Review, and elsewhere. She has been nominated for Best New Poets, Best of the Net, and several Pushcart Prizes, and currently serves as the Marketing and Events Manager for Split/Lip Press. Find her on Instagram @she_wins_an_emmy.
Current Issue
29 May 2023

We are touched and encouraged to see an overwhelming response from writers from the Sino diaspora as well as BIPOC creators in various parts of the world. And such diverse and daring takes of wuxia and xianxia, from contemporary to the far reaches of space!
By: L Chan
The air was redolent with machine oil; rich and unctuous, and synthesised alcohol, sharper than a knife on the tongue.
“Leaping Crane don’t want me to tell you this,” Poppy continued, “but I’m the most dangerous thing in the West. We’ll get you to your brother safe before you know it.”
Many eons ago, when the first dawn broke over the newborn mortal world, the children of the Heavenly Realm assembled at the Golden Sky Palace.
Winter storm: lightning flashes old ghosts on my blade.
transplanted from your temple and missing the persimmons in bloom
immigrant daughters dodge sharp barbs thrown in ambush 十面埋伏 from all directions
Many trans and marginalised people in our world can do the exact same things that everyone else has done to overcome challenges and find happiness, only for others to come in and do what they want as Ren Woxing did, and probably, when asked why, they would simply say Xiang Wentian: to ask the heavens. And perhaps we the readers, who are told this story from Linghu Chong’s point of view, should do more to question the actions of people before blindly following along to cause harm.
Before the Occupation, righteousness might have meant taking overt stands against the distant invaders of their ancestral homelands through donating money, labour, or expertise to Chinese wartime efforts. Yet during the Occupation, such behaviour would get one killed or suspected of treason; one might find it better to remain discreet and fade into the background, or leave for safer shores. Could one uphold justice and righteousness quietly, subtly, and effectively within such a world of harshness and deprivation?
Issue 22 May 2023
Issue 15 May 2023
Issue 8 May 2023
Issue 1 May 2023
Issue 24 Apr 2023
Issue 17 Apr 2023
Issue 10 Apr 2023
Issue 3 Apr 2023
Issue 27 Mar 2023
Issue 20 Mar 2023
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