The picture glints with the summer of 2008.
Paling behind us the sky, a war waged between sea and God. It doesn’t end. It won’t.
That shirt he’s wearing, the one with the navy flags on the back. Nautica—
Persimmon juice in between my fingers as I watch him roast a whole pig, its eyes black beads
begging to be plucked and buried next to the public park.
His Nikon D500 forgets where the faces are.
What is it called when you want something but cannot fathom it?
Zuì ài (love of your life). No— ròuyù (carnal desire)?
They keep asking why I stole the money from their sock drawer, all the way to
2009, where the summer is more red than green.
Baskets on the porch with unripe mangoes and river barramundi, salt from the mud sinks to
the bottom. Line-caught, he boasts—
Jingjing, I’m so proud of you. Youre amazing. Love you! Dad.
I’m all hooks in lip, line-caught in the mouth. Choking on air and perfume.
The beach isn’t a place for children. One day, you’re sitting there hoarding water for a moat
made out of sand, and the next,
He’s a beached whale, all the way from the inland sea. Is that meant to be the punch-
line? Caught between the optics of erosion at the base of a cliff and a church, beige as the inside of a cradle.
Neither of those things are inherently violent but when he looks at me from that angle, all I can think about is
the time I waited for him to pick me up from the train station.
I sat through an entire sunset and six trains billowing smoke to learn that sometimes he
Hey you [someone is tapping on the window]. It’s a clear day.
When he asks me why I have parked here, I tell him it’s not my car.
A slip of paper that reads the date and time and one-hundred-and-ten dollars flaps around on
the windshield like a piece of loose skin.
It’s been fifty-six days. The ground has picked up again.
After the wake, a lady in a frilly collar shoves a fifty into my palm; the plastic money smells
She was wailing in the back row. Tā shìgè hǎorén (He was a good person) [smiling].
Xièxiè āyí (Thank you, auntie).
Debt hangs there, a wet towel on the hills hoist swaying side-to-side.
Pray tell, Good Lord. Why does your blood taste of cherries—
and mine of cyanide. Oh! I know! I haven’t repented since 2009!
Jingjing, shàngdì ài nǐ (Jingjing, God loves you) [drowning].
He stopped taking pictures of us and started taking pictures of things far away.
Dark green pastures dotted with white cotton sheep. Sleep tight, babies. Don’t bleat for no
An urn the size of a plum is somewhere in a box. Take him with you when you go overseas.
Everyone is there, in the pictures.
- 108: DEDICATIONwith L Patterson & L Garcia-Dolnik 107: LIMINALwith B Li 106: OPENwith C SLowe & J Langdon 105: NO THEME 11with E Grills & E Stewart 104: KINwith E Shiosaki 103: AMBLEwith E Gomez and S Gory 102: GAMEwith R Green and J Maxwell 101: NO THEME 10with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACE with W S Dunn 99: SINGAPOREwith J Ip and A Pang 97 & 98: PROPAGANDAwith M Breeze and S Groth 96: NO THEME IXwith M Gill and J Thayil 95: EARTHwith M Takolander 94: BAYTwith Z Hashem Beck 93: PEACHwith L Van, G Mouratidis, L Toong 92: NO THEME VIIIwith C Gaskin 91: MONSTERwith N Curnow 90: AFRICAN DIASPORAwith S Umar 89: DOMESTICwith N Harkin 88: TRANSQUEERwith S Barnes and Q Eades 87: DIFFICULTwith O Schwartz & H Isemonger 86: NO THEME VIIwith L Gorton 85: PHILIPPINESwith Mookie L and S Lua 84: SUBURBIAwith L Brown and N O'Reilly 83: MATHEMATICSwith F Hile 82: LANDwith J Stuart and J Gibian 81: NEW CARIBBEANwith V Lucien 80: NO THEME VIwith J Beveridge 57.1: EKPHRASTICwith C Atherton and P Hetherington 57: CONFESSIONwith K Glastonbury 56: EXPLODE with D Disney 55.1: DALIT / INDIGENOUSwith M Chakraborty and K MacCarter 55: FUTURE MACHINES with Bella Li 54: NO THEME V with F Wright and O Sakr 53.0: THE END with P Brown 52.0: TOIL with C Jenkins 51.1: UMAMI with L Davies and Lifted Brow 51.0: TRANSTASMAN with B Cassidy 50.0: NO THEME IV with J Tranter 49.1: A BRITISH / IRISH with M Hall and S Seita 49.0: OBSOLETE with T Ryan 48.1: CANADA with K MacCarter and S Rhodes 48.0: CONSTRAINT with C Wakeling 47.0: COLLABORATION with L Armand and H Lambert 46.1: MELBOURNE with M Farrell 46.0: NO THEME III with F Plunkett 45.0: SILENCE with J Owen 44.0: GONDWANALAND with D Motion 43.1: PUMPKIN with K MacCarter 43.0: MASQUE with A Vickery 42.0: NO THEME II with G Ryan 41.1: RATBAGGERY with D Hose 41.0: TRANSPACIFIC with J Rowe and M Nardone 40.1: INDONESIA with K MacCarter 40.0: INTERLOCUTOR with L Hart 39.1: GIBBERBIRD with S Gory 39.0: JACKPOT! with S Wagan Watson 38.0: SYDNEY with A Lorange 37.1: NEBRASKA with S Whalen 37.0: NO THEME! with A Wearne 36.0: ELECTRONICA with J Jones