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.

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Julia PikeMR.

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