Midsummer by Marco Yan

Pale sky     high clouds     the heat soaks into the concrete
making shadows out of everything     it’s the Establishment
of Summer again     the city open to light and humidity
see the dust     gnats     pollen     tinsels of pollution
the sweat on my arm     coursing through the hair
like cars along the winding coastline     where my brother and I
swam and paddled as dogs     swallowing brine     small stones
our own piss     our mouths embittered     only to spit
at each other’s face     the length of the shore measured
by the clams we picked     then dropped into the blue bucket
we laid the shells on charcoals at night     watched them
crackle     their meat     dead and full of sand
the sand of some other beach     where my childhood
friends and I dug with our hands     nails collecting grains
a pit to bury     driftwood     crabs and soda cans
a treasure chest     we made no map to     wouldn’t uncover
even if we stood on the X     one more time     we shouldn’t
ask for the keepsakes     we’ve gifted to the land     let the land
remember us     let it remember for us     because I can’t return
to the time the girl I liked lay next to me     the damp towels
the fearful sun     the angst of not knowing how to talk
without leaving     a clue of what I wanted     we ran
to the waves     and sank ourselves     so we could touch
spume clinging to our skin     a straitjacket of salt
we struggled to strip off     it was sticky     it was
bliss     eternally thick on these bodies of ours     dear
brother     dear friends     my dearest girl     here we are
look how much we’ve perspired     on this day
there are things we can never wash off     can we.

From: http://cordite.org.au/chapbooks-features/hong-kong/midsummer/

Date: 2020

By: Marco Yan (19??- )

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