Cogs and a Pencil

Gloria Guo


Gloria is a nonbinary Chinese person slowly slogging through university where she studies Politics and Environmental Humanities. She was born in and lives on the land of the Eora nation.

/ compass : cog \

\\ . . . with this haywire heart for a compass,
i learn to dance in the city.
     it’s full of teeth, but so am i —
i’m not afraid to run or fight when
i walk the wrong way,
catch a bus in the opposite direction,
miss my stop on the train,
get lost in the machine . . . //

    \\\ a cog says: i refuse to be consumed. i would rather
    work. i will not be worn down. if i break, it will be
    spectacular. expect fire, expect  
    noise. a riot. smoke rising,
    ashes coming alive. expect me to burn,                 
    expect conflagration, expect me to                      
    spread like disease, ///                                  

: call me a trouble maker.    :

 : call me if you’re angry,       :
                         : call me if you want to talk to someone,    :
                      : call me if he makes you feel unsafe,    :
                       : call me if you want to kill yourself —    :
                                                              : this doesn’t have to be a pyre,    :
                                                           : there’s still water left in us.        :