Issue 16

Hazel Phillips: The Stiff Room

Care of the body after death: Close the mouth before the body starts to stiffen. If the mouth will not stay shut, you may use tape around the face, under the chin and up to the top of the head.

Kyrstin Felts: Strawberries

Other girls keep taking their clothes off in front of me. Or at least that’s how it feels when, in grade seven, we start dressing in sports clothes for gym class. Your bodies are changing, your bodies are changing, the teachers tell us.

Mark Kitchingman: Finding My Turtle Power

I never once heard my tinamatua (grandmother) speaking Samoan when I was a kid. None of my aunties or my mum could speak the language either. I, however, never hesitated teaching Nana the ways of my favourite television superheroes every school day at 5pm.

DW McKinney: An Elegy for the Land

I. A month after my grandfather dies from pancreatic cancer, my grandmother chops down his cactus in their front yard.

Natasha Lampard: #8

As the plane ascends, I feel the descent within me: clenches, releases, involuntary and indiscreet, sudden saturation. Waves of nausea, the dizziness. The curious mix of contrasting forces: so heavy, so light, so faint. My edges are being rubbed out while other parts are being furiously scribbled in.