Hong Kong has inspired a sense of awe and disbelief every time I’ve visited. During the protests last summer, a friend said to me, “The government here doesn’t appreciate how special its people are.” She said it off-handedly, but the remark struck me on a deeper level. What is a city? How do we give the people of a city their due?
A poem materialized; it’s since been worried along, fussed forward incrementally, never exactly feeling right. I don’t know if the poem is any more right now than before, but it is, at least, out of my hands. “Wishes from Hong Kong” has been published on the Los Angeles Review of Books (LARB) China Channel. It begins:
WISHES FROM HONG KONG
I wish you could see it, the verticality,
pylons of glass steel and stone
rising to spike empyrean, straining
toward the welkin where sky and sea
flip, keelboat and junk yawing in clouds
while the waves reel and roll.