Roses in a mason jar, both the blossoms
and the withering—black wine in glasses,
the first round, the inevitable second—
the instant when a candle flickers, dims,
returns to its glow, and the two lovers appear
slightly different and look at each other like dogs
regarding an apple dropped on the grass.
20/20 and colorblind. The urge to say
I register you, what are our possibilities?
and the knowledge of silence, organic
and orchestrated. Both this and that.
The restlessness of spending the night
in a bed foreign and familiar and the calm
morning when she sneaks out and he
sleeps in. It’s her putting on makeup on a train
and him rinsing his mouth in the bathroom
while his left eye refuses to take a contact lens.
She checks her lips in a shop window as he lifts
his eyelid, index finger steady, tapping his cornea—
he taps, and he taps it until it reddens,
clears, then flowers again.
One summer, a colleague of mine gave me a house the size of a thumb, a miniature model home from Amsterdam,or Rotterdam. When I moved from Hong Kong to New York, I brought it with me, put it next to my books and found it too small to be a bookend, too big a thing to be lost. Well, that's a souvenir.
Marco Yan is a Hong Kong-born poet who is currently studying poetry in New York. His poems appear or are forthcoming in Whiskey Island, Prairie Schooner, Sixth Finch and more. He now lives in Brooklyn. www.marcoyan.com