It comes and goes like a fever,
It comes and goes like the water,
And then pushes back to the ocean
But the beaches are closed
And there is nobody here.
We learn to make do with our houses
Learn to make poetry, learn how
Between places so far and people
We ask when it ends,
They answer us, soon.
I saw out my window a woman
I saw her eyes turning the stars
I saw her mask take in the air
That I took,
I saw her, she saw me,
I stared and she looked.
“Where are you going?” I asked,
“Down to the graveyard, to see where
“He?” I repeated, for fear, and
To think that a life
In my life could die.
She saw me cry out and her eyes
She stepped into darkness which smothered
I did something wrong, I fell out
She left me, she left me,
She left for the grave.
So now as I sit in my bedroom
On thoughts and feelings of all shades
The dark ocean, yes, but the morning
I call talk and text
My family and friends,
I hold on, I laugh,
And I learn to make do.
I love, as I loved
That woman I knew.
A Letter to Søren Kierkegaard
I have dreamed
once, in a fitful slumber
that you came crawling through the window
that same thoughtful smile, and said—
Sail with me
To the edge of the world
Where the sea laps against a wall of stars,
And underneath the hanging moon I will say
I love you
And I will mean it.”
On Sunday they sent that little letter
and I sent Frederik to snip the flowers.
There in bold was my name—
I can still trace the loops of your loving lines,
curl, caress, cream, cut
the top open and spill the insides out.
“What I wish to give expression to is that to me an engagement was and is just as binding as a marriage, and that therefore my estate is her due, exactly as if I had been married to her.”
You, my as if husband
As if Abraham
did not sacrifice Isaac.
The last time I saw you
before I sailed away, I held out
How different we would be
if life was not either, or
at the place where we first met,
beside the river
that churns through the glade.
to the wide-open plains,
teach me the names
of every cow in your herd.
your favourite story
under the cassia tree,
above the flowering grass.
in the autumn moonlight,
pray to the gods
that winter will never come.
a message through the river
that cuts us in half;
love me if you can’t meet me,
know me if you can’t take me,
think of me if you can’t tell me,
hold onto me if you can’t hold me.
One day we will meet in the middle.
Nobel Chan is an undergraduate student at Boston University, studying English and Deaf Studies. Hailing from Hong Kong, she loves reading, writing, and musical theatre. Her work has been published in several magazines, including Applause. She hopes to continue writing poetry and short stories in the future.