Size / / /

I come to you from a realm of incessant storms,

gowned in the shreds of an inadequate umbrella.

What happened to my hair? It kept getting snarled

into the filigree hilts of godmothers' wands, or stuck

in the icing on half-baked cottages, or wound

itself into nooses around already-netted fish. There

was nothing to do but to crop it all off. Loose, it promptly

smothered an acre of corn. When even the crows

can't wait to see you gone, it's time to shove

what's left of your life into a walking shroud

and cobble together what you can

from the pelts and bones of out-raced rabbits,

the better to greet whatever's next in store

with the treadlessness of a ghost, but even when

my fingertips graze only stone and tin,

my breath bruises fruit and my words ruin wells.

I've been told there are cures, but what I've heard

always ends with a witch in the fire

or the pond. I won't do that

to someone else's grandmother. And now

you have someone to blame for next week's blight

and next month's horror—I

am marching away even as you slam your door.

Peg Duthie shares a house in Nashville, Tennessee, with a brown dog and a piano tuned a half-step high. Her poems have appeared in Dead Mule, flashquake, and elsewhere, and she owes Heisenberg's ghost a round. You can find her poem Some Houseguests Can't Be Helped in our archives.
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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