By Mark Yin
Apollo sets, leaving you behind in his sister’s harsh, silver crepuscule for another few hours. Soon, people will be coming through the temple—the days have been lengthening, and the Twins are rarely merciful at this time of year. You close your eyes and see another planet, a planet of ash. You remember reading about how trauma is intergenerational and how humankind have been carrying it in their bones for centuries now. You pray for them all the same, whispering reassurances that thankfully, that fiery planet is no more. Summer here is never so bad.
By Nicole Hegedus
As soon as the singing began, they were sent into a kind of frenzy. Cries rising from the bleached earth as the sun dropped from the sky. Neighbourhood kids in their hand-me-down pyjamas and singlets zig-zagged bare-footed across the lawn. Their motions akin to a drunken reverie. Ears accustomed; searching for the source. “Over here!” and one big STOMP. Holding their breaths, mouths clamped shut with a small hand as not to make a peep in the silence of the cicadas. Slowly, the sullen note rose again, chiming into the evening chorus.
By Kavya Malhotra
Australian summer smells like Indian winter. Let me explain.
The word “January” rings a dichotomy upon the mercury between New Delhi and Melbourne. I try to soak in the free aircon of Melbourne Central and my cousin from back home tells me how he couldn’t feel his fingers as he walked to uni. Indian winters are an amalgamation of smoke, lead and fog that strangles your insides and somehow, the summer of ’20 in Australia smells of the most polluted city in the world.
My friend bought me an anti-pollution mask. I laughed and said my lungs don’t need it. The bushfires continue to rage and choke.
By Alexandra McAuliffe
The air is sticky, subduing, able to keep even the most volatile and restless of creatures at
bay. I am
one of those creatures. With stiff knuckles and copper nail beds, my heavy hands sink into
before me. Like every drop of moisture left in the air, my fortitude is quickly evaporating. The
surface won’t be moulded so I jab at it over and over again with a knife, hoping it will form
shape of his face. Staring at the disfiguration in front of me, I wait in my kiln for the end of
By Teck-Phui Chua
He lies down, stomach up. A breeze cools him temporarily.
The curtains billow in with his breath, then out.
A brief calmness overrides all senses.
The sun cast shadows, while leaving a warm impression behind.
His stomach grumbles as the smell of dinner reaches his nose.
The front door unlocks–instinct tells him it’s the mother.
The footsteps agree.
And just in time.
A shout cues two children to rush past. He gets up and follows.
At the table they sit, ready for the daily ritual.
He salivates as he chews his food and his tail wags.
Cicadas chirp outside.