The Red Maiden

by Emma-Lee Moss

My matchmaker is a man. A man in a crisp, white shirt and trousers. ‘Shouldn’t you be an old lady?’ I ask. He bridles. ‘That’s kind of a cliché.’ I’m two weeks into my first trip to China. As a kid living in pre-Handover Hong Kong, China was a terrifying, monolithic presence. Now, it is a place I long to understand.

The Taking of the Birds

The taking of the birds was something that none of us had seen coming. As far as political allegiance went, there was a time when it would hardly have occurred to us to wonder which side the birds were on, but if it had, or if we had been asked, the answer would have been obvious. What did we know in those days?

The Sex Column #4: Unfuckedness

A person writes, “I’d be curious to see you discuss sex lives that can feel non-existent … how to feel comfortable with your sexuality when you’ve not been intimate with someone for well over a few years.” This month’s column is named after a poem by my friend Amy Key, Lousy with unfuckedness, I dream.

Matrescence

Really, I had no idea what becoming a mother would entail before my daughter was born. That my ‘Mom’ jeans would take on a literal sense was about the only sure bet I could make... After the birth, and the initial trimester of her life, I did not expect my identity to be ruptured still.

The Sex Column #3: How to Be Good

The following question was posed to me: ‘I know all modern sex havers have to be GGG (good, giving, and game), but at what point [in a relationship] can one stop being GGG?’ ... I think, in general, one should accommodate a partner’s desires on occasion as a mark of generosity, which is what being GGG entails, above all.

Night Wind

The devil was already inside Amenze when she walked past Goodies on Awolowo Road. At first, it was squatting inside her small stomach, leaning against the walls and eating ground up groundnut from the day before. Then she felt it becoming a fuller presence from her waist, expanding through the width of her chest.

Grenfell: Community, Spirituality and Safe Spaces

We’ve reached a strange impasse when a generation that shuns organised religion claims to be more spiritual than ever. When it believes enlightenment will come via lunchtime vinyasa flow—if only the west African churches next door could keep their 'massive ghetto blasters and screaming' down.

COIN

The war seemed almost over when Red 1 began faking al-Qaedas. Not just one or two, either – whole cells of sham terror, jihadis fabricated out of magic desert air for captains and colonels to freak over. And freak they did. White people turn pink when they get angry, so there were many meetings of important, pink-faced men screaming at each other; trying to figure out how, and what, and why.

Dreamed As Medicine: Meditations on Gender and Spirit

I think that I am non­binary. I’m not sure exactly what this could mean. If gender is the way one is read and received, I don’t know who I could be if I only had to read and receive myself. I think that I might be non­binary, because I only feel fully at ease around the queer, trans and gender non-conforming.

The Spring

This place is mapped on the inside of her skin. The archway, the hole that tumbles down, driven into the earth as if some great creature had dug and dug—the stone sides like the walls of a mausoleum. 30 metres down the tunnel cuts to the side and there is a second archway lifting towards the light.