Cheng Tim Tim shares a poem on the theme of archiving Hong Kong.
Shui Hau, Hong Kong
Tonight you’re not dried and flat,
blending into the road.
You croak like no one’s watching,
loud, multiple —
among you, there’s this ridiculous laughter,
surround sound of acabradebra, acabradebra,
distinct, almost like a mockery
to the itchy fact
that our blood is your food’s food
by the thick, green soup
of your lotus leaves and children,
some of which will never grow.
We thought you were extinct
and how the hell did you return—
Our flashlight gives no answer
but to reveal
you, stoic, resting on bark
or under a big grass blade;
you, so many of you
looking out from drain pipes;
or swept into a gutter
higher than you could leap—
so we cup our hands to take you
back to the wet bush,
by which you freeze,
unblinking, as if
of the tunnelling, of gods’ hands
before you turn left then right
then spring out of sight.
Tim Tim Cheng is an ESL poet and a teacher from Hong Kong, currently studying in Edinburgh. Her poems are in POETRY, Rialto, Ambit, among others. Her pamphlet Tapping at Glass is forthcoming in 2023. Her latest appearances include the Hidden Door festival, and The Loop, BBC Scotland.