Current Issue poetry

Time Passes

by Marissa Ahmadkhani

Gaze by Wowser Ng

Time Passes

and the cypress trees sway as gray clouds
rise to an overcast sky. I sip my coffee
as it steams into the morning mist,
remembering the row of dark green trees
next to my childhood home,
their feathered tips moving
with the wind—how I’d lay in the grass,
eyes squinting defiance at the sun
as my father trimmed hydrangeas
alongside the house, my mother humming
softly from the porch. There’s a sadness
to memory, like small fires losing
brightness over time. Back then,
I knew the scent of dirt, the feel of grass
against my skin. Knew nothing
of how the human heart can fissure.
Now, those hydrangeas are long-dead.
Their blue and white petals crushed
and pushed somewhere deep into the soil.

Marissa Ahmadkhani’s writing has appeared in dozens of publications, including, which awarded her the Academy of American Poets Prize in 2015, 2017, and 2022. Currently, she teaches composition at the university-level and serves as Assistant Editor of The West Review.

Chinese artist Wowser Ng is based in London where he graduated with an MA from University of the Arts London. Brightly-colored digital paintings provide new possibilities for Asia queer depiction in abstract and figurative works. Ng challenges pop culture by appropriating fashion products to form visual narratives and uses stylized abstract images in his research.