by Liam Wallace
A boy drowned some years ago
On a beach with a name that I forget.
No one saw him enter the water
So nothing can be said for his intention
His purpose undetermined
His face a blank canvas marked by
Only a smattering of freckles
A surfer noticed the boy
Swept up by a rip, unable/unwilling to untangle
Himself from the pull and tug
Of increasingly harsh
The surfer called out
Before he paddled towards the boy,
Thrusting his old waxen board underneath
A succession of waves
Unsure of whether he was more than
A speck viewed from the shoreline
The boy sunk further out and further down,
Only hands flailing above unforgiving
I do not know
When the surfer returned to shore. Only that
The boy did not.
Liam Wallace (they/them) is a recent graduate from the University of Wollongong in environmental humanities, history and sustainable development. They love reading and are also a keen runner. Liam tutors primary school students and enjoys getting to share ideas about writing with them.
by Nikita Kostaschuk
my housemate tells me
I am a chore
to live with, says I am always
coming home in chaos,
says the mess and jumble
of it is too much for him.
doesn't he know about the bumble
of bees in my head?
I swear he did.
I swore he could hear them
through the walls
in his room when I am trying to sleep.
all they do is dance
their paths to the pollen stuck
to everything I say.
they only want to make honey.
lyrical, build hexagons
in my head to contain it all.
all the mess and jumble of the world
is too much for me
to contain alone.
I thought he could taste the sweetness
from my every word
but he just leaves the world hollow.
he doesn't understand
that I am the swarm,
the secateurs, the flower,
that within me lies
an eternal Spring.
Nikita Kostaschuk (ink.eyta) is a spoken wordsmith hailing from meanjin/brisbane. a background in English Literature interplays in their work with their lived experience of autism, gender, trauma, humanity and brokenness. a facilitator of spoken spaces, ink.eyta organizes SpeakEasy Poetry Open Mic.
by Audrey T. Carroll
We know nothing about gender
& even less outside our species
There are categories of hummingbirds
we have named along a spectrum:
male-like males female-like males male-like females female-like females
& even this we only glean
from an exterior, the observable:
plumage brightness & bill length & tail length
It is quite possibly impossible to know
anything beyond this, anything about their
gender roles gender expression
without imposing foreign concepts
Gender is a complex web, something
known but unknown
inside of us but beyond us
named but individual
the us to whom we speak in the dark
Our own gender is a cosmos
& we are children with plastic telescopes
hoping to catch a glimpse of Venus or Mars
or something in between & mostly what we see
are a million stars we cannot name,
a million stars we can barely even describe
Audrey T. Carroll is the author of What Blooms in the Dark (ELJ Editions, 2024) and Parts of Speech: A Disabled Dictionary (Alien Buddha Press, 2023). She is a bi/queer and disabled/chronically ill writer. She can be found at http://AudreyTCarrollWrites.weebly.com and @AudreyTCarroll on Twitter/Instagram.
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