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In my sleep god says

that I do not wear my body well.

He knows I am running from it

just as home has been running from me.

There is a thing about the body and home that we sometimes forget.

It’s like constant in equations and formulae.

The last time I was asked where I come from,

my whole body trembled like a cracked glass about to shatter.

I was reminded of war and home in one sentence:

in that manner you see a closing fist, or

the kind of wound you do not know how to survive and heal.

Home is become where I do not know how to pronounce.

When I try to spell it, I find no syllables, no transcriptions.

Or try to pray it, I remember my childhood

when I played in my dreams instead as playgrounds

had turned into beds for grenades and shells and shrapnel.

Then blood gurgled down the corners, the streets and the rivers.

Perhaps, it’s why I carry palaces of memories with me, everywhere.

And people, they say, build palaces so they will never forget their past.

They say home is a truth stranger than fiction.

I do not want to believe. I do not want to believe.

When I wake up each morning, I search the

grounds to understand what a home really is,

as mine has denied me its meaning

and drags me by the heels off its stomach,

and says I cannot lick its wars.

Chinua Ezenwa-Ohaeto is from Owerri-Nkworji in Nkwerre, Imo state, Nigeria, and a lover of literature. Recently, he won the Castello di Duino Poesia Prize for an unpublished poem, 2018. And some of his works have appeared in Lunaris Review, AFREADA, Raffish Magazine, Kalahari Review, Praxismagazine, Bakwa Magazine, One, Ake Review, and Crannòg magazine. You can find him on Twitter @chinuaezenwa.
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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