by Vanessa Rose
The pumpkin looms above the clivia
up and over our fence, rooted in soil
that has bloomed a thousand bongs.
I should push it back, gather up
its desiccating leaves, its winding vine,
and bundle it along the top of the palings
as evidence of the neighbour’s transgression.
But then I might miss the moment -
the inevitable gravity of gourd.
It falls without me seeing it, thudding
at night into the ground
irrigated by federation houses.
Months later, I find it under the glossy straps
of the clivia, at the tail-end of a dog
rooting out a blue tongue.
Pumpkin, grey-worn and wilted,
what dreams did you seed in your last
days, hidden from the sun?
Vanessa Rose writes poetry whenever she can. She is a member of Writing NSW and is currently undertaking a poetry feedback course in Sydney Australia. When not writing, Vanessa is a researcher at a not-for-profit social purpose centre based in Australia, Singapore and the UK.
by Joanne Fong
Start with the runt, his shrill
shrieks sweep out over a cruel
land, where a midnight sun
never sets on entrails, stains
the ice luminous red
Slice into the heat of his belly
—a fish, ready
to be gutted.
Hack at limbs til you reach
bone, soon you will have ragged cuts
of meat, poor imitations of sliced
sections hanging from hooks
in butcher’s windows back home.
Flinch when someone nicks
the bowels, putrid fumes leak
out like a tyre puncture.
Once you burn those hunks
of flesh til taste turns sour, season
with stale salt from gritty palms.
Almost forget nights spent
under the endless sun, his pulse
lulling you to sleep, fingers woven
deep in shaggy comforts of fur.
Joanne Fong is an emerging writer, creator and functional human. She is a journalist at KOS Magazine and is based in Melbourne. Find her on Instagram @joannefwrites
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