Selected Poetry by May Chong
Photo Source: Geograph.org.uk
If destruction is a hollowing
then creation is filling in the blanks;
If creation murmurs unending
then the spaces in bridges must sing;
If the bridges you burn light the way
then match iron to iron on your blind back;
If you hear the pounding of iron rice
then learn metal jam on your bread;
If the gleaning of bread is a millstone
then lay your dust below the trees;
If your trees are transmuted to gunmetal
then weep with the bruised sky;
If the sky cries you awake
then answer with proud banners;
If the red banners encircle your heart,
then unbind the falling body;
If your body returns to cold hunger,
then fall famished upon the flame;
If fire is purifier
then the burning is not destruction.
When the bed feels too wide, I like
to pretend you’re the megabillboard
on the highway’s collarbone, blasting
through my window like a sun on the way
to going nova: a gigantic hug
from a star that knows no boundaries.
The fire of your eyes ever changing,
tinting the darkness
behind my eyelids grapefruit-
have complained, but you remain
never burning out, the light of
two million LEDs
unstinting. But light of my life
must you keep me awake
what we have survived: transformation
from cirrus to cumulonimbus,
sudden cupfuls of spring tide.
Ankles tanking on
Tonsil stones. Annual fever week.
Gut cramps. Firecracker
joints. The years spent
as a cough hostel. Trust
comminutely fractured. Dark
beasts of the mind still unnamed/
untamed. Days when your sleeves
could not soak up all your heart.
Our heart. A heart still
raring to fight, to run,
to scream the sky down. How
rejection rips raw, sawlike.
How hollow solitude. Softening
body, stiffening body, it was never
you endured, freestyled
through thorns, learned
words for wild grass
and new birds.
Grow flowers, grow fruit, grow
through the roof of the world
and let light in, beautiful, strange,
skewed sideways body.
One day. One day,
even if not today, one day my body belongs here.
May Chong (@maysays on Twitter) is a Malaysian poet and speculative writer with previous work in Fantasy Magazine, Channel Magazine, Bending Genres and Harbor Review. Away from the keyboard, she enjoys birdwatching, great stories and terrible, terrible puns. Her first microchap, Seed, Star, Song, is available from Ghost City Press (https://ghostcitypress.com/2020-summer-series/seed-star-song).