The pier stretched in the horizon,
a twinkling of infinite stars.
Having wound through the alleys
clogged with motorbikes,
gleaming metal in orange light,
three of us trailing
behind, I remember how you wound
your hands around her
back, both with your backpacks
and a life, this life that you’ve made
as the past combs the dark
body of water. We’ll have to make
The past is a mirror
wobbling on the flat-bottomed boat,
flipped, as my boys watched
fluctuating neon on skyscrapers,
wide-mouthed wonder assailing
the wind on our faces, the greasy motor
palpitating as we slipped into a Neptunian
abode, as if we’re going back
into our mother’s womb.
I remember in that small room
you recited a poem you wrote,
all rhymey, a ballad about children
forsaken (or was it forlorn?),
and mothers full of intuition,
a scrap that flew and stuck
on the walls of my heart.
You wisely said, we stopped them
from coming. I thought how useful plugs
are, no matter. That for everyone else
who’ve not stopped them, they’re here,
to be roughed up. One way or another,
we’re plunged into a dark that has come
for our taking, all our stories
glittering as stars. Sometimes not coming
is not a matter of plugging. You feel it
as a calling of those infinite stars.
Process notes: Ha, a dense prompt, mine, over at We Write Poems. I don’t wish to over-explain a prompt though. Maybe try this equation: memory + details + mythology = poem. Funny thing memory is, and how we write a memory. Mine has a specific context: Victoria Harbor, Hongkong. The rest is a mix of fact and fiction.