The lady on the brine we never visit
Her pale green gown rises like a strange tree on the Horizon
The sway of the boat lulls us across the narrow strait
Muddy dark and deep, urban waters
The violent orange of life jackets crouch
Beneath the hard wooden seat against my legs
As I stare out and you sit by, with an arm to ready upon my knee
The ship docks and calls for those to disembark
But we bide our time patiently and I climb down
To lean against your shoulder
As we make our roundtrip home, although we have never left
Where is trouble kept?
Worry and sadness and anger
If I could, I would banish them into nothingness
But why must dislodging it from my heart
Put a shadow of it in yours?
A hydra which grows twice as many heads
As those that are cut and lopped
I heave a rusted sword and can only hope
The pungent smell of ginger
Lemon slices mowed down by a dull blade
The sizzling steam of water
And soy sauce sloshing in the glass bottle;
I cook for myself today
But move with mother’s teaching
I cannot bear to hear your shaking voice
Or see the way your eyes avert
I ask only because I wish to understand
I ask only out of need
Let me rest on your shoulder,
And you shall rest on mine.
Watching the birds dart here and there for a bit of tuft or twig, makes me lonesome to find my own home, a place of belonging. How easy it is for animals to court and make a nest. But then again, they have to remake their house every year. They must woo every year. Not even the lesser beasts have it easy.
Sick alone and suddenly I’m reminded of my mother picking me up in junior high and holding my feverish hand walking me to the doctor’s, grandmother’s homemade congee steaming in the porcelain bowl, her mouth blowing a spoonful to cool, my grandfather putting his cheek to mine to deduce whether the cough that rattles me is from a common cold or the dreaded flu, nights of vomiting and lying in bed ill and never having to get up to change the waste bin, the sour smell never there for long, chased out, and quiet murmurs trickling in that check on me in bed, my bedroom door easing closed before I could even catch a glimpse of the family guard whose shift it was today, in the days when I didn’t ask to know who nursed me, sure there would always be someone on the other side.