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

textured sand

January 2022 Poetry Feature

MADELEINE MORI
A. and I were both hurt by that cold, hard change, / the snap of my leg bones. / I saw the root in the trail as a swag-bellied dog / with a cape I wanted to support— / both dog and sneaker flying as one. / When they came, Search and Rescue’s tools unbent my pain.

headshot of Elvira Hernandez

Translation: Poems by Elvira Hernández

ELVIRA HERNÁNDEZ
nowhere / anywhere / would poets meet dressed as beacons / if their mirrors were not fogged / if their mirrors were not fogged / they would have seen the mandorla set sail / perhaps at this hour they are filing claims /to recover their lost luggage / agreed: that’s not the teide

blackbird upon a puddle

Translation: Poetry by Esther Ramón

ESTHER RAMÓN
Two of those brief animals / that populated the branches / and the furniture made useless / by humidity and neglect. / They were separated / From time that burns as it passes, / from this insignificance, / from the feeding cycle, / my desires in the shredded remains