by Elaine Mead
the once warm house grows
cold as grief penetrates the
constant hum of night.
hues remind me of
golden morning light
slices strips on the bare skin
you leave now for good.
Elaine is a writer and educator, currently based in Hobart, Tasmania. Her flash and micro fiction have been published with Reflex Press, Bath Flash Fiction, National Flash Fiction Day, Geelong Writers Anthology, and others. You can find her on most social media under @wordswithelaine
by Rae White
the land next door
is up for sale.
on high rise limbs
prowl construction site
ground: ‘if it flat, we nest’.
bright white queenslander
sits propped high
on jenga blocks
awaiting next month’s
big move: five inches
forward, one inch right.
men till the ground
it all grows back
within a week
and is left to the house
and their pink galah
the overgrown earth,
the latest seeds,
Rae White is a non-binary transgender poet, writer and zinester. Their poetry collection Milk Teeth (UQP) won 2017 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards. Rae is the founding editor of #EnbyLife, a journal for non-binary and gender diverse creatives.
by Alexandra McCallum
Smoked eel against my tongue
comes apart in flakes;
Sticks out sideways
like splinters of wood from the fence.
I’m five. Or four. Or three.
Small enough anyway to think that the pine trees above us
have been here a century instead of forty years.
Too small to know that it was you who dropped the flying seeds into hot ground,
That this is not a wild accidental forest; or birds transplanting as they flew.
But the trees are too dark, too tall and I ignore them.
I see the strange shape of flavours I don’t have names for
and your fingers as you pull pieces off the bone.
You’re talking too. We are talking. But the only thing I remember is
That you held out the skull, flat and lovely, and shoved it between the fenceposts
“Because the ants need some too.” I watch them swarm over splinters of meat
And I love eel forever.
There is more to come
with you who always put food where conversations should go
Angry the day I ruined your practical joke
because I couldn’t watch my grandmother panic.
Angry the day you taught me the words economic migrant; so I wouldn’t get your story wrong
Not angry the day I was in the way, and swinging to avoid me
You broke a toe.
Alexandra McCallum writes fiction, poetry and performance work. She is also an oral storyteller and community cultural development facilitator. Her work has appeared in Artshub, Running Dog, Brisbane Modern and Best of Bareknuckle Poet and was selected for the US writers’ workshop Tin House. Her scripts have had readings at Metro Arts and the Judith Wright Centre and she has co-written scripts for school touring. Between 2007 and 2009 she facilitated Screech Theatre in which young people with and without disability came together to make new work. She has also facilitated numerous other projects and workshops and performed at festivals and galleries.
by Raynen Bajette O'Keefe
is it not we were here together
for crossing lines
knock every door (52)
eldest leg ea crutched
foyer, sleeping birds
I hate you - still housing
lefting birchwood wind
we can, at, for else
pls, when heart ‘home > queers’
undermines how can I
Raynen is a trans, non-binary and queer-identifying writer, artist, and community worker. They are a settler who lives and works from unceded Gadigal lands. They have a dance practice and a BA in Film, and their writing can be found at, or is forthcoming in, Scum mag, Dancehouse Diary, Demos Journal and Red Room Poetry’s Writing Water: Rain, River, Reef.
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Photo used under Creative Commons from John Donges