I was in Shanghai on December 12 to take part in the fourth issue launch of the The Shanghai Literary Magazine, which was kind enough to publish my poem “Expats in Beijing,” written with a complicated, semi-circular, and haphazard rhyme scheme — somewhat representative of some of our lives here — which begins:
It was with a laugh that Jacob asked
if any of us had tried heroin.
At once you could see our breaths lightened
like balloons liberated from children.
Laurie’s freckles showed, Margo tugged
on the hem of her dress, Jane
wore the expression of someone pained
to know she could not shrug “It’s fine,”
and as they turned to me I cleared my throat
against this expectant hush.
Read the rest of it here, or listen below.
It was a fun event, by the way. My thanks to TSLR editor-in-chief Juli Min and her entire team.