Size / / /

Content warning:

The workouts don’t work when you barely have
anything to eat. Two hundred & fifty abdominal
crunches a week. Silly boy, admit it. You like to

suffer. Ribs all around your sides. Caged like that.
This body, bone than body. Cathedral of tight skin.
Close-knit biology. I bend & the whole spine lifts,

rearranges. On some days, I am so small I could
live on a shiver, fit under my brother’s nail. A week
ago, I lost my favourite jacket. The days that came

after were cynical. In the mirrors I appeared, I’d
search, finger on glass, for a third skin. Sweater
of gristle. What I found—foil. My body, a desert

of living bones. Listen closely—a sandstorm
whispering in the joints. This wilt. This bullet-
shaped torso. I fear everything that embraces me

seeks to count up my twelfth rib. Notice how
skinny is less skin than skeleton. Even language
echoes the lithe, mocks it. Here I am, searching

for my body; fingers snaking around my temple,
my nape, my entire boring mold of matter. As if
I would arrive at the chest, pull out a new suit &

drape myself. Bloodless like that. Clean surgery.
Oh, to repair the flesh. To scalpel the skin into
vain grace. I fill myself with want, as if it would,

in turn, fill my rose-slender limbs. But I still ebb
& flow with the garden breeze. My lightweight,
my bone of silk. Wear your earrings around my

wrist & ask what to do with the dangle. Touch
my right leg & imagine a golf club forged to the
hip. This morning, a friend held me by the jaw.

Your cheeks look fuller, he said. & I liked that.
I liked it very much.

Samuel A. Adeyemi is a poetry editor at Afro Literary Magazine. A Best of the Net Nominee and Pushcart Nominee, he is the winner of the Nigerian Students Poetry Prize 2021. His works have appeared—or are forthcoming—in Palette Poetry, Frontier Poetry, 580 Split, Agbowó, Brittle Paper, Jalada, and elsewhere.
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
Load More
%d bloggers like this: