Issue 39 (Apr 2013)

Fiction

From the Book of Names My Mother Did Not Give Me by Christine V. Lao

Arsenia (ahr-SEN-yə): the feminine derivative of ‘arsenio’, meaning ‘virile’, in Greek

It is true that her skin is prematurely gray, and that she is unable to break into sweat or produce a personal scent. But they love her because she is quiet and unambitious, and therefore naturally able to transform into what the other girls want her to be, simply by taking her place beside them, pretending to listen.

Waiting for Agua de Mayo by Mia Tijam

There are no dragons here, that’s what they say in this bustling, polluted and overcrowded city.

The “dragon” was a word brought by the Spaniards, Americans and British, and their books and movies, although some would argue that our neighbors, the Thai, Indonesians, and Chinese brought it first. The dragon was a creature made real by stories spun by these strange men and women, who may have even believed that they were real at one time.

Calling Oshun by Shannon Barber

Voices bring me up towards wakefulness and the Earth; my body is moving before I’m entirely awake. The voices are beautiful, full of gravel dredged from the Deep South, saturated in whiskey and sorrow, then poured from the mouths of the men in a living room somewhere.

Poetry

Komolafe by Tade Thompson

Wake up, Komolafe.
The young men have come for you.
They drag you to the palace.

Contributor Biographies