by Brighton Grace

The usual howl and
The usual discharge.
A year’s wages blown
In under eight minutes.
Bolts and bouquets of powder of whatever colour you like
Endure and stretch. Then, they waver
And, finally, are interred in the tar membrane,
Leaving more smoke in the sky.


People seem to think that the ugliness and atrocity
Have agreed to cease, or, at the very least, to an armistice
The length of a coffee break,
At exactly midnight.
They roll out this logic annually
And are interested in dates but not history,
And 12:01 still feels an awful lot like 11:59,
Just as 11:59 felt an awful lot like 12:01
At the inception of the outgoing year.


There should be tears;
The country is on fire,
The peripheral continent is unvaccinated,
And our nurses and doctors and firefighters,
For whom we allegedly cheer,
Are not here;
They are still working.
But we will celebrate them in absentia
And send them new embers and patients
With the ease of digital kisses.


This is going nowhere.
If we wanted to get anywhere,
We wouldn’t be here;
We’d be in a quieter place,
In a lucid headspace,
Explaining why we love one another
Rather than professing it in grunts.


I can no longer find comfort in thunder.
Did you feel the fireworks shake the window?
Why can’t we dance to music with a shred of character?
We can’t even do hedonism well.
Have we really banished anything come morning?
What are we revelling over?
Who are we tempting to come on down
From the void
At one minute to midnight?

Brighton Grace is a 21-year-old queer writer from Sydney, Australia. Seeking to preserve audience autonomy, his writings offer refractions of contemporary concerns and excavations of hidden feelings. You can find his writing in Maudlin House and the Et Cetera student magazine. He is currently completing a Bachelor of Arts and Advanced Studies at The University of Sydney, majoring in Film Studies and English.