A Poem by Jocelyn Li

the sun bursts into my bedroom and demands a peepshow


yes, and this is why we’d rather wait
in the dark where shadows

intersect with the trembles of our breath
and damp air lowers itself to penetrate where there’s warmth

are you ashamed
of what keeps us up at night?

yes, and how one hand slides below the horizon
as the other reaches for tomorrow’s

fingertips, holds no promise except
to drop daylight into our empty palms

and astonish us with what we own again



what happens when she returns
the gaze and dust swarms
onto her bare shoulder

collect the creatures with averted eyes
the flies, cracked ceilings, glistening
armpits, parted lips

what a scandal
to be taken for granted like this



look: another insta-worthy photo.
here’s the flash before someone dips
their toes into the edge
of a building. the pillow remembers
the heat of your pulse before it slows, stills,
chills with the span of a cigarette

i’m sinking too
but still not good enough
for you to watch



no one told me handcuffs could melt into midnight like this
or that suspension
is a spectacle and act of disappearance at the same time

in a world that doesn’t ask for safewords
if i blindfold myself with supermarket wine
can you let me exist
without satellites watching me



there is something reassuring
in this spot: yes, right here,

pressed right between my thighs and these blankets
and the hum building up before we hit snooze again

see how your beams graze the edge of these curtains
and the room coming alive with your touch

such warmth
oozing through open windows


Jocelyn LiJocelyn Li Sin Ting is a Hong Kong poet who writes about identity, womanhood, and the disappearing freedom and local culture of her nation. Her poems have appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, PEN Voices: English (Hong Kong), Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, and is forthcoming in Oxford Poetry.

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