Size / / /

Content warning:

The plumber says well it can’t
be a wolf that I hear howling at night,
we don’t get wolves around here.

Around here, we don’t get wolves
slinking past our windowpanes or leaving
pawprints in the mud by the front gate.

In the mud by the front gate, pawprints
tracked a path to the welcome mat
this morning. Like a fool I swept them away.

I swept them away this morning, like a fool
believing my word would be enough
for the plumber fixing my pipes.

Fixing my pipes, for the plumber,
is a simple thing. He whistles gently as I tell him
about the yellow eyes I saw last night.

The yellow eyes I saw last night, about
the same shape as his, but larger, shine brighter as
the moon leans in close to laugh at me.

To laugh at me the moon leans in close
and trails its fingers down my spine.
I twitch and spill my coffee a second time.

A second time, I twitch and spill my coffee
on the plumber’s boots. He smiles.
The dark seeps in faster underneath the lights.

Underneath the lights, the dark seeps in faster,
howling at night. Can it be a wolf that I hear?
Well, it can’t, the plumber says.

Kaily Dorfman was born and raised in Santa Cruz, California. She has an MA in English literature from UC Santa Barbara, and a BA in the same field from UC Berkeley. Currently, she is an MFA candidate in poetry at UC Irvine.
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: