by diana khong
i. if you’re reading this, i’ve stopped calling & you are sad. imagine i am in a red room. there are two doors & neither has a knob. there is a velvet love seat & i am in my underwear. this is not a sext. this is not a sext.
ii. if you’re reading this, your mom said my skin was uneven, a marbled yellow-brown cake & laughed so hard i could smell the milk curd of her throat. her lasagna was burnt & your dad nosebled jack daniels. i am not answering your calls. no, you cannot take me to prom.
iii. if you’re reading this, you’re in trigonometry popping a tent. there is a chink in my teeth you want to press your fingers against, but i keep telling you to fuck off. you text me bukowski quotes & i show my friends what a sad shit you are & we laugh.
iv. if you’re reading this, my mother told me no more demons in my house, but i bring you over anyways. after you eat out of our bowls, we throw our porcelain away and i cut myself taking out the trash. my spit dries on my palm & i think this is immortal of me somehow.
v. if you’re reading this, i’ve blocked your number & you’ve grown a fever. your dreams: zip ties, my wrists, a rosary across your neck. remember this: a place you’ve never touched / had / bled for. there will be another tomorrow, but today i invite you to fuck off.
Diana Khong is a poet and artist of color. She is currently editor-in-chief of Kerosene Magazine and is on staff at Ascend Magazine and Noble Gas Quarterly. Her work takes on life post-diaspora and bad dreams. She tweets @deerthrum.
Art: “Convergence” by issue 6 featured artist, Matthew Chapman
Working from relationships observed in his day-to-day, Matt finds his work in an interaction between two people, the space between the meeting of nature and architecture, or the spill of light on the ground. Using painting and drawing as a way to speak to the these relationships, a language of geometric abstraction and considered mark making is developed.
Chapman lives and works in Lancaster PA, studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia (MFA) as well as Lancaster’s Pennsylvania College of Art & Design (BFA). He has exhibited at: The Walter and Leonore Annenberg Gallery, Samuel M.V. Hamilton Building at PAFA, Philadelphia PA. Pentimenti Gallery, Philadelphia PA. Rothus Halle, Solothurn, Switzerland. The Ware Center for Visual and Performing Arts at Millersville University, Lancaster PA. Sunshine Art + Design, Lancaster PA. City Hall Permanent Collection, Lancaster PA.