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Nov 3, 2019
It’s impossible to take it all in
at once, this harbour.
That is the bridge where I protested
for the first time, when my ‘rents took
me and thought it a good idea.
To the right, the convention centre
where protest happened tonight.
Further right, a high rise
a Japanese architect shaped
into the hilt of a sword, pointing
towards the colonial manor.
And behind that, I don’t know if
you can see in the photo,
a mountain. Behind that, another
obscured from view, the story
of my genesis, a little foothill village
from where I used to hike up
to the peak, to be seen,
never then able to understand what
I was seeing.
This storied landscape,
these memories, others’,
are what’s at stake, even if
they can never be reclaimed.
While Nina Simone croons in my head,
“Stars, they come and go.”
Water of the harbour undulates,
glimmer of the city’s light tiding
This is a snippet from Sam Cheuk’s upcoming collection ‘Postscripts from a City Burning’ (Palimpsest Press, 2021) on the 2019 protests in Hong Kong and its aftermath. Cover image by Joseph Chan on Unsplash.