MR.

By NICHOLAS YB WONG

 

He taught me about empires, got spotted

in a ferry leaning almost too close to a man

in the same tee. People like us traveled a lot,

 

often with grist to unravel the abutments of risky

fabric, practiced the Barbarian Invasion, fought

from a hetero shore to the less hetero soil.

 

It was science when a boat floated, so was

it when one sank, mass increased,

buoyancy gave in. His body knew it,

 

his liver a budded rival of his own

cells, pushing down the declivity every

historically healthy bit of him. I wished

 

the harbor wafts gentled his sallow skin

despite the waves and noisy seagulls.

My fault of smattering when Reformation

 

began, what was reformed. Of finding radio-

therapy more theatrical than Marie Antoinette.

He said his speech was unclear now, ball

 

point pens feckless, upside down in a mug,

unpaired. History not a mistake repeating but

a red smudgy rabbit stamp I once had for

 

recounting facts on time and exactly as he said.

The way he wrote Renaissance on the board was

so neat. I almost saw a straight line beneath.

 

 

Nicholas YB Wong received his MFA at the City University of Hong Kong and is a finalist of New Letters Poetry Award.

[Click here to purchase your copy of Issue 07]

MR.

Related Posts

Matthew Lippman

Was to Get It

MATTHEW LIPPMAN
I tried to get in touch with my inner knowledge. / Turns out I have no inner knowledge. / I used to think I did. / Could sit on a rock contemplating the frog, the river, the rotisserie chicken / and know that everything is connected to everything else.

half burned cigarette on an ashtray

Avenue B

KEVIN HAUTIGAN
If you ever want to feel real, / even important, / cry on the street. / Sob. Heave. Bum a half-smoked cigarette. / Drunks rally around your wet eyes: / A woman brings a paper cup of soft serve. / A man in a floral shirt puts his hand on your shoulder.

picture of dog laying on the ground, taken by bfishadow in flickr

Call and Response

TREY MOODY
My grandmother likes to tell me dogs / understand everything you say, they just can’t / say anything back. We’re eating spaghetti / while I visit from far away. My grandmother / just turned ninety-four and tells me dogs / understand everything you say...