Mae Diansangu (she/they)
what i remember:


coke floats guzzled on the front steps,
medicinal lucozade, that fizzing, sugary,

orange panacea, sipped in every sickbed
boiled lemonade to settle a sore tum,

werthers originals, murray mints, sherbert
lemons, soft palms dusted with flour, open and

tender, welcoming me to lick the wooden


the glow of a bar heater impersonating
a log fire, electric blanket and crocheted

quilt sandwiches, pants and vests gently
toasting on the radiator, a steaming plate

of mince and tatties,


the missing kiss i never gave you (i had
a cold, didn’t want to make you sicker).

i held your hand and squeezed, i don’t
remember what i said.


in the old myths, they tell you to leave without
looking back. when i looked back i saw my mum

knowing how to say goodbye, leaning over,
bringing her lips to your forehead, eyes closed,

understanding this was the last time. i didn’t turn
into a pillar of salt,i just felt your sweetness melt

away from the world. dissolving, like the sugar you
heaped into lemonade. a strange alchemy i trusted,

but never understood.

the story of my name

you held me for the first time, where the border is
most porous. i had just come from where you were

heading. i wonder if you asked me for directions.
they gave me your name so we would never lose

each other, so i could remember how i entered this
world. very nearly in the backseat of your car.

one last thing i remember:

you left the day after i didn't turn into salt, mum said
you had waited for me, that you couldn't let go

before holding on to my hand. i think of all the times
i slipped into sleep, knowing you were beside me.

our fingers interlaced, both of us an anchor. a gentle
reminder to the other that we could drift to any plane

of consciousness, and still be tethered by love.
the story of my name
photography by Abby Quick