Dorothy Chan is poetry editor of Hayden’s Ferry Review. Her work has appeared in Cha, Keyhole, JMWW, and Vine Leaves. This past summer, she taught poetry at the National University of Singapore. Her poem, “Ikebukuro Train Rides,”
originally featured in The Writing Disorder was nominated for a Pushcart in 2012.
The future has arrived and it’s all about dreaming of the past.
Really, can I wind up on the train tracks with a man like you?
I’d like to screw the Oscar Wildeness of “I like younger boys
with older women,” because—just give me your hidden and your reckless
with your mix of British and Asian tongues—the accents of your mouth in
“You’ll be my dim sum expert,” and the way you lower the chin,
looking at me not just with eyes, but the entire face...enveloping
mine until we’re...way...too...on the brink that I can’t even fake coy.
I wish you’d kick me—throw me the hell out of your car,
onto the tracks. Grit yourself out so we can share
that moment when the train’s about to hit,
since we could both use a little déjà vu and halos around
our heads...You reminded me of the college boy
when you asked, “Wait, can you turn your head that way again?”
If only our timelines could reach equilibrium. But at least we’re still stuck—
stranded in Chinatown since you so need to show me
your grandfather’s old studio—and that wallet you made
illustrated with your father’s black and white photo.
I mean could it get any sexier with you, timeless and spontaneous?
No, and that means we have the world...put me back at the brink
because you’re the first man who didn’t tell me to write about him,
but about him—your grandfather—timeless.