This city spoke through neon lights,
showcases of big brand names.
Taxis lined up along the street,
the voice of a blind man's erhu
lingered in the corner. Door opened,
someone came out of an alehouse,
red and contented, whose earring
spoke of his sleeping for money,
his stark nakedness in sauna room
embellished by the void of saliva –
no words for anybody farther.
Just neon lights, and the sobbing erhu.
You knew that nothing really hurt
inside the bus packed like a box
of melting Maltesers, when a voice
shrieked out somewhere from the lower deck
raving at its being criticized
for whatever it did, how the world
had turned upside down and become
a killing joke, how you felt alright
without meaning in these meagre years
as you finally pressed the bell and squeezed
your way out, understanding a breath
of fresh air would restore sanity.
Distant trees, a figure wandered
among spying silhouettes. I sat
on a bench and contemplated leaves
falling and frozen beneath the moon –
strollers left the park long ago.
His face and clothes in familiar shade,
who never turned toward me but appeared
out of someone's presence. I went
before making up a reason
as though I remembered he loomed closer
and strangled me without a sign,
as though that memory was true.
By Arthur LeungQLRS Vol. 8 No. 2 Apr 2009