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here between the wires
we unlocked the materials for starshine & clay
figured out how to code our way into existence.

God does not exit stage left,
behind a cool red curtain &
there are no thrones whose location we can’t find.

nothing is hidden;
everything is a sound that echoes
everything is a purpose.

and nothing here exists to die.
everything Created is immortal
pixelations of human desire.

even us.

we created blueprints of better living
on the jagged edges of Mars
before Mars knew who she was.

before Mars knew this liquid was water
we stored our hopes beneath her
& a swirling red eye.

who are you,” she never asked.
what will you become,” she never cared
& how wonderful, to be unseen.

what is blacker than space
how it wishes to love you with treasures
but can’t help boiling your blood

how it captivates the human eye
a territory of the unknown
implemented into every aspect of pop culture.

if a body appears within space
& the waves don’t travel to hear them scream
did they ever suffer at all?

space, how she embodies us.
didn’t it make sense to imagine her
as our home?

we placed ourselves into being
where hostility was assumed
because God, haven’t we had practice?

they rescinded our invitation to the afterlife
after marking us damned within life
and we dreamt on.

they robbed us out of land
& gave us an identity ever-shifting
and we dreamt on.

they figured out we had wanted Mars;
must have left the prints out where they could see
& spoken a little too loud on moon-shine whispers

and suddenly, man goes to the moon.
man colonizes Mars.
and we dream on.

here between the wires
we figured how to live without access
& thrive with only each other.

we figured how the human body
survives away from food & water &
maybe it just proves we were never human at all.

here between the wires
everything that was & was ever to be?
it was ours.

but i have seen on bridges
the sign of decay.
how even starshine has lost its magic.

this time we can build armies,
but don’t you see how the cameras
flash in warning of tomorrow?

we are becoming Named again
& doesn’t it feel like a familiar burden
doesn’t it feel like a charge?

we worked so hard.
but it was our first rule
in whatever format we had staked.

don’t get attached.
don’t get attached.
it’s time to log out.

Vanessa Taylor is a writer and organizer based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is interested in using a multi-disciplinary approach to social justice, from on-the-ground activism to finding accessible ways to educate community, with writing as a way to make sense of it all. Her work focuses on exploring Black womanhood and Muslim identity.
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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