Tammy Ho Lai Ming (HK)
At night, you prepare dinner.
Sometimes it takes just fifteen minutes,
sometimes a little longer.
You refuse to eat, if I do not put down my book.
The displayed plates wait in earnest
for me to push away my laptop.
Our raising the forks together
gives you satisfaction.
Many times you doze off in the living room.
Like a mummy, your arms are folded across the chest.
You will not go to bed on your own,
as if being in the same corner of the house—
I typing my last manuscript,
your tired body reclining on the couch—
we can capture the essence of togetherness.
In the morning, before you remember to pee,
you remember to check my breathing,
it brings warmth to your fingertips,
it suggests the possibility of another 24 hours.
And then you remember
this is not how you want to remember me.
You try to think of our first pillows,
our heads upon them, laughing.
This morning, I look at you and hope that—
despite all this, despite all of this—
you will do what good widowers should:
bury your wife’s corpse,
erase all traces of death.
I think I’ve got used to
The one where my voice sounds suitably Husky,
And the one where the world goes all pear-shaped,
Hell, even this poem
Has an arse.
Now I only want
A life lived to the full,
A husky voice
And a poem with an arse.