Around, the cloths of life
Spin into ghouls’ faces, vortex-like,
Us in the hurricane’s eye, whipping
Blips from the news outside:
Coronavirus, protest, protect,
Masks, madness,
Boxes missing,
Hours in line risking
Cold. Sold out. No more
For the poor,
For the old.

From the cornered
Sanctuaries of homes
The world outside is
Wracked by not the weather
But by the times,
And while people walk tall,
Our souls are short
On air we can trust in.
This machine
Spinning torrents of
Tribulations has a timer:
Nine months, and counting.

In the centre,
Us small centipedes,
A leg a year, quiver at the prospect
Of today and months turned old.
We’ve crawled, one limb torn asunder
By these walls of whipping winds,
And we wait, but we also fear the day
That this storm stops,
For what will be out there
Will not just be the new landscape
And fresh devastation,
But the need to move:
The world doesn’t stop spinning,
And we, dizzy or not, disorientated and lost,
Still need to walk,
To choose a direction to stumble in
Taking another year out of our torsos,
No matter what lies that way.


It is some pretty exhausting, and frightening times in Hong Kong. We can’t even ‘look forward’ to the end of the Coronavirus when everyday is filled with warnings and routine to make sure that we’re not catching it, or spreading it to those we love at home. Some of our major, physical protests against our government have come to a standstill due to the fears about this virus spreading amongst crowds, but the anger is still strong. The way that our borders are being mishandled is contemptuous, and we are still riled up.
That’s what’s frightening. Nothing has been ‘solved’ over the 9 months, and ‘improvements’ (unions, democratic candidate landslides in district council elections), though they exist, have lost momentum. Though there’s barely any time to look to the future, I look forward to the coronavirus’ disappearance/suppression. That said, I’m also afraid of what the city will feel, more than look like, once that disappearance does happen.

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