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by AMALIA COSTA (United Kingdom)

Issue 2.2    August 2020


We come in droves, frothing at the mouth and baying for blood.

Our enemy invisible, stretched across the world like the taut skin of a drum, 

a global shroud signalling the newest apocalypse.

They roll about every so often, then it's business as usual

and we go back to our homes and our restless swords rusting in their hilts.


Saddle up, time for war.


Two global diseases I have lived through now; the first was financial, this one respiratory.

All around the world, the children of the millennium are woven into the tapestry of hindsight,

of history

slowly as the needle threads through.

I get calls from friends about funerals for the ones they love,

the funerals they can’t attend.

I try to imbibe as much of my embrace, of my tears for them

into my voice through the phone, to compensate for the distance.

My mother and father talk late into the night.

I hear the word "furlough" and am transported

to twelve years prior, when the word was

"redundancy" and I could feel the delicate, peripheral shell of childhood

harden and politicise at the edges as I sat on the stairs, 

the glow of the lamp in the hallway hastily cut off at eight to save money.


We put on our battle gear, and we head out

to war in the living room. Our armour

gleams in the light of the lampshade on the coffee table.

We get bored with fighting after a while, and we take to our phones,

weaving clumsy analogies into poetry on the internet.

We want to save the world. We promise.

There's just too much to save it from.

Amalia Costa, 19, is a writer from North London in the UK and is studying English at the University of Nottingham. She likes writing about family culture and tradition, the experiences of women, and current events.

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