A Burning World by Erica Abbott

The television set sizzles with static
while the world burns at your feet –

a war that’s been seen before is teetering on the precipice
of unhinged jaws and fingers cut off

from the electrical charges of the brain. Here
lies all the truths that were kept buried

while every lie hums just outside the window,
glowing with the warmth of a firestorm.

If you stare into a lurid blaze long enough, then
you will start to believe what it sputters

and spits through every last splintering ember.
Before you know it, they will settle

into the carpet fibers one by one until the house
is no longer a home but a man-

made inferno. All the extinguishers were outlawed
long ago and you are left with one option:

to continue quenching your thirst with the very thing
that made the world turn against itself

and go up in flames.

This post is brought to you by The Book of Jakarta

Despite being the world’s fourth largest nation – made up of over 17,000 islands – very little of Indonesian history and contemporary politics are known to outsiders. From feudal states and sultanates to a Cold War killing field and a now struggling, flawed democracy – the country’s political history, as well as its literature, defies easy explanation. Like Indonesia itself, the capital city Jakarta is a multiplicity; irreducible, unpredictable and full of surprises. Traversing the different neighbourhoods and districts, the stories gathered here attempt to capture the essence of contemporary Jakarta and its writing, as well as the ever-changing landscape of the fastest-sinking city in the world.

The Book of Jakarta is published by Comma Press

About The Author

Erica Abbott has been published in Toho Journal, perhappened, and Flora Fiction. She is the author of the poetry chapbook “Self-Portrait as a Sinking Ship” (Toho 2020). Find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Bandit Fiction is an entirely not-for-profit organisation ran by passionate volunteers. We do our best to keep costs low, but we rely on the support of our readers and followers to be able to do what we do. The best way to support us is by purchasing one of our back issues. All issues are ‘pay what you want’, and all money goes directly towards paying operational costs.

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