We assume the cold lasts forever.
Unaware of its untimely demise, we opened
its door to a dying ribbon of light. The cooler
had stopped working—like how the charm
hidden in an old film can’t help but prove
its stars dead, its soundtrack now stale.
The beer, refusing to cool, hinted at this
inevitability—or perhaps, at a lingering
uneasiness I could not ignore.
You reminded me to separate the food.
The meat, quick to spoil, was to be cooked first,
masking its death in a slaughter of oil.
Whatever remained, we left to be swallowed
by the heat, or hidden in the stomach of strangers,
if only to escape the wandering of flies. I wondered
if the eggs were alright. Only when they cracked
would we know if they were rotten, or fresh
like memories of breakfast. Or perhaps, we
could give them another chance? Let the
warmth’s embrace try and hatch them.
Your silence mirrored my cascading questions.
The answer came in the form of fried rice.
We ignored the vegetables for now, though
even the maggots could foresee their fate.
I open the fridge, expecting the melted ice
to have dried, only to find the spilt seasoning
grieving over their past. How I, too, who kept
opening this door again and again out of habit,
mourned in my many-flavoured grief—how death
somehow let me scent the proof of having lived.
How it let me taste this simple joy we neglected.
The inevitability of life quickly arranged
with the store for the new fridge’s arrival.
When the porters carried the old one away,
I saw an exchange of souls. How, spurred by
the guarantee, a fridge emptied and sealed
away is soon replaced by one new and
unopened, ready to contain anything.
- 101: NO THEME 10COMING SOON with J Kinsella and J Leanne 100: BROWNFACECOMING SOON! 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