Editor’s Note

Hello, friend, and welcome to the issue. In our oversaturated era of late-stage capitalism—it’s a bit of a miracle we’ve found each other, no?

I hope the following poems might be a shield, however brief, against loss, existential isolation, or any of life’s many other unavoidable disasters. If that’s too dreary or pretentious, then I’ll say it another way: I hope you like the poems.

Behind this incredible work lies beautiful, complex human beings. Which I emphasize precisely because of the diversity of this issue.

These poets are curious and grieving and playful. Often at the same time. Their voices represent communities we don’t hear enough from.

Every author was generous enough to speak with me over the phone. Curated, compressed versions of those conversations will be available on the Peak in the coming months (our first one is already there), and the sheer liveliness and range of their voices and stories are remarkable.

Lin Yutang proposed that we ought to read only what and when we desire. I wish that for you.

If you’re searching for bites of sound on place and belonging, on immigration, on caregiving, on grief and memory, on middle school and Freddie Mercury—you’ve arrived.

Besides my well-wishes, I hope you, dear reader, are in a place where you can take all the time you need with these poems.

—Siew David Hii