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Flushed collarbones. Sweat dripping down the bridge of your nose. Hair between my fingers. Pull. Pull. Pouring myself into your bellybutton, coiling serpentine around your wrists. Bedsheets crumple around me like paper; you hold me within the soft white pause between breaths. Fingernails drag down sticky shoulder blades. Murmured encouragements against the constellation of moles at your soldier, each bright little star chased by the bite of my teeth. Fingertips press so hard on my hips that I’m sure it’ll bruise, purple petals pressed between the pages of my skirt.

What they don’t see: a tan line on my fourth finger; socks on my feet; nipples standing to attention at the behest of a cold draught; thirty beady black eyes watching us moan for the camera.



This month has been a slow one. I wake up with the sun in the sky and holes in my belly, pouring oil down my throat. My left eye is blind. I walk with a peg leg, talk like a monsoon, and bleed like a bullet. I’m charmed by idiosyncrasies. My father blinks owlishly at the window to his hippocampus. My mother plays Reversi with the lunch menu. My sister talks to the voices. Sheer curtains are the only barrier between my naked body and the outside world. I paint my fangs with fluorine, but only when I’m alive enough to tolerate the reflection in the mirror. I lie, limbs akimbo, and watch the flickering of fan blades upon my ceiling like I’m hypnotised. I bite my lips until I bleed, peeling skin from flesh, and the sharp glint of iron binds me to my body like a ritual. Winged zebras settle upon my thighs. Itch, itch, itch. I’m never fast enough to kill and I’m too slow to live. Spit in my mouth. Bitter. But at least I’m taking care of myself.


Sol Kim Cowell (he/it) is a transmasc mixed Korean writer and local café regular. Through his writing, he seeks to embolden the whispers of the subconscious and to confront the ghosts of the past, with a view to tell stories that resonate across borders. At his doljanchi, he picked up the pencil, and he hasn't put it down since.

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