From My Window

Nicholas YB Wong

Not seasons, no snowy mountains,
no squirrels fleeing from freezing
corners with their fleecy fur during spring.
When autumn comes, my eyes will not notice.
It is my skin that feels the dryness and
reminds me to put on a coat.

I write in front of my window, through which
I see where I belong, masonry of high
risers, whose bodies are rain-speckled or
weather-worn. This is Hong Kong after all,
where racists and sexists do not exist, where
people and buildings aspire upward with rocket
momentum. We are heightists – shortness is nearly
a crime here, second to universal suffrage.

I wonder what those Canadian poets
would say with such a view. Would their eyes
go blind seeing erect cement?
Would their mind be blocked by the lack
of hills and rocks? Would they call
my room a hell hole? Would they therefore assume
Hong Kong people can't write?

It's not true that I don't have a view here.
I can peep into the life next door, know that
the couple subscribes to Oriental Daily
and eats with white polystyrene boxes
five nights a week. I could even change
their TV channel with my remote and
catch them in surprise.

Every Friday night, they retreat to bed early, dim the light,
slowly let their bodies illuminate at various
angles, in different rhythms, while their window,
silent and dutiful, keeps them away from chaos
in the squared-off cityscape.

Nicholas YB Wong is the author of Cities of Sameness (Desperanto, late 2011) and the winner of Sentinel Quarterly Poetry Competition. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Assaracus, Cha, Drunken Boat, Lambda Literary Foundation Poet Spotlight, Mascara Literary Review, Moon Milk Review, Nano Fiction, San Pedro River Review, Third Wednesday, Zaum and many others. He serves as a poetry editor for THIS Literary Magazine and a poetry reader for Drunken Boat.