Whither Hong Kong? / September 2014 (Issue 25)


by Henry Wei Leung

after the Occupy Central rally on August 31

I myself have been here:
been a hollowing throng of sweat
hoping for a name
or blessing, been among
the lonely
solidaire offstage
banking on a harbor breeze;
I have been the weft
and tangle
of a mother's lilt I can't
unhear from your cries raised.

I stood among and gave you
neither stay nor shore nor help
from rain. I stood inside
a silent night of cell phone lights
with all my hands
hanging. For the record
I told the foreigners nothing
when asked. I looked
like someone to ask.

I've barely arrived
after birth
and migration, a body
dismantled of time,
waking in words and shaken
like a paper lung. For among
my maps was one so
endlessly paper—how
did I ever survive?

I was not meant to survive.
So forgive my participation.
Forgive me my love for freedom

and for my foreign question: what is
a freedom when divorced from

I am one child, two dialects.
I am an out-of-seas democracy
with Chinese characteristics.
I am the bridge and long road
of blank votes, proof of
having been, of having
been more
than shopping.

I am ardor

for a hostage here
too wise to hear,
who lay down her hands
on my knuckles
as a beatitude
to promise the freedom

of no escape.

She knows no comers
promise solace.
She herself was there
for the five thousand

And I squat here
on loamy sidewalk stone
where a ragged dog has lain
to rest with such an effort
of dignity
that when the time comes
to hose us down,
who will say

which of us is decay
and which the sculpture of it?
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ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.