Two Poems by Aiden Heung

Photo: © John Michael Swartz. All rights reserved.

Landscape’s End

There at the other end of loneliness
the dim skyline, like an insect
trapped into the sunset amber.

Light scuds to the gutter, and the last
warmth of the day stiffens to cold.
Under the winged eaves, penumbras

bloat into peat-colored lintels,
like words swallowed for being wrong.
We outlanders still pull our bones

like empty suitcases in this city
of a million homes. Our speech
a poor translation of want.

Most of the time we stand, like now,
at a random block, and watch the city fall
into monochromes, negating our tiny narratives.


Almost December, always these gritty
streets, and again this me standing

at a crossroads where trash has settled
like un-reason. Already, stores selling

Christmas in ribboned wreaths hanging
like exclamations. I want

this winter to be less about the end,
meaning I’m still capable

of love, meaning I want to yield
to the terror of finding myself

through another man, like leaves drawn
to hardened earth, or ice on water.

Though every part of me loosened
into cold like a laceless shoe, I’m ready

for what I have to lose.

Aiden Heung is a Chinese poet born in a Tibetan Autonomous Town, currently living in Shanghai. He is a Tongji University graduate. His poems written in English have appeared in The Australian Poetry Journal, The Missouri Review, Orison Anthology, Parentheses, Crazyhorse, Black Warrior Review among other places. He also translates poetry from Chinese to English; his translations were recently published in Columbia Journal and Cordite Poetry Review. He can be found on Twitter @aidenheung.

Appears In

Issue 17

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