It was years ago, the ship sailing us slowly
into a fragrant harbour vibrating with red lanterns
and slender girls with black, blunt-cut hair, strolling
with boys just as pretty. You, a marble god
browned from the south china sea, levitating
with excitement at your first time. For hours we
walked streets sliced by alleyways, serried
with neon-fronted shops, air spiced with ginger and clove.
Open-top sight-seeing buses and beggars
vied for the tourist dollar as warm rain fell
and lovers huddling in corners held their faces
close together, illuminated by smartphone light.
Waiting for the tram to Victoria Peak
we ate melting ice cream with plastic spoons
and laughed as an old woman, her palms upturned, whispered
I tell your future; scribbled on the paper scrap
she pressed into your hand: McDonald’s 10pm.
We perched ourselves above a still unbridled city,
drinking wine, eating pale pink kimchi, and decided
not to go, later wondering if we should’ve.
The next day in Kowloon, you bought a white coat,
wrapping me in its bulk when the midday temperature
dropped like a dead bird and a cold wind,
shooing wooden junks across the harbour’s skin,
hissed its warning.
Lake Tabourie NSW