Poetry

Troubles

Words by: Evelyn Yu Yu Swe


Part I

I stand in the doorway between you
And the clatter of mahjong tiles
And the chatter of drunken voices
A purple lotus blooms on your cheekbone
Its gentle petals watered by your silver tears
Hide your blush of shame and pain
I am ready to make these strangers’ house my home

I stand between you and his green sedan
You take my tiny hand in yours
And press my fingers into the fracture on your cheek
My wince and heartache mirroring your own
You wear your heartbreak in your face
Obscured by tinctures and powders
In various shades of porcelain
You whisper: “We’re going home.”

Part II

Your eyes bloodshot from sleepless nights
You leave a tar-stained index print on the glossy page
Of my Ladybug copy of Sleeping Beauty
The stain I later trace with my own tiny finger
A drawled recitation of a classic fairytale
Your English was not very good

We sit crosslegged from each other
You answer my insatiable questions
With a bleary-eyed patience and a slur in your voice
The questions I had for you
When you swung a chair at her face
Your answers were not very good

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