Forest Fires

Written by Margeaux Feldman, Illustration by Wenting Li

Anyone who has experienced losing a loved one will immediately recognize the visceral, sharp waves of feeling at the core of this personal essay about grief. For those who haven’t, here’s an opportunity to look out on this erratic sea with practical curiosity — because though death is a topic we should be inherently built to understand as mortals, it’s often the event we fear most.


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If your body was a piece of land, that space right under your breasts, that circle, would be the forest. And that emptiness that you feel marks the loss of so many trees now gone. If you’re doing the math, one man should equal one tree. But you’ve never been fond of math, you could never follow the formulas. He was one man, but he was also your world. He cared for you as a father would, provided you with the shelter you needed. But you cared for him, too. Helped feed him and bathe him before he turned fifty. Or maybe he was fifty. You try to do the math, but really: does it matter?

Margeaux feldman

Margeaux is a sick and queer educator, writer, and community builder living in Toronto. Margeaux is nearing the end of her PhD in English Lit and Sexual Diversity Studies at the University of Toronto, where she also holds a Certificate in Community-Engaged Learning. Her writing has been published by GUTS Magazine, The Puritan, and FEELS Zine and she's currently at work on a memoir entitled The Bed of Sickness: Essays on Care.


wenting li

Wenting is an illustrator and inveterate reader working out of Toronto. Her work is preoccupied with colour and movement, the relationship between shapes, and the subtleties of complementing story with picture. She wishes she was friends with your cat.