It is in early afternoons
that I am closest to the marble windowsill.
I drip dry against gravity —
his orange boxers,
her cotton thongs; wet
and gendered like the halo
pierced through my legs.
With this silver hoop
I could clip up creaseless metres of sheet
and bring the sea to shame.
My wings know no bounds
past 45 degrees. My wings
know not to get too close
to the heat.
By sunset the clothes are folded away,
lime-scented piles segregated
in their bedrooms. I hang naked,
flapping against the wind
like a homesick seagull.
I am either too heavy
Most of the time I prefer
not to think. I prefer to be suspended
between stillness and ripples.
I prefer to oversee the messy
activity through the glass.
Look at the huddled lights,
clutching on the side of a cruise
as if they might sink.
If the constellations weren’t covered by smog
they’d probably adopt them all — as I would.
It’s a motherly instinct we share, to love
and protect small flickering things.
Yet I too am a plastic speck,
a phantom against the thick sky.
I am so small I might blink away
if I wish hard enough.
That’s what nomads do, don’t they?
I am a lifetime away from adventure,
from the stars that don’t have a home.
I thank the hangers and window grills
for grounding me like this.
Jocelyn Li Sin Ting’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Diagram, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Oxford Poetry, PEN Hong Kong and Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine, among others. She is born and based in Hong Kong, with her pet lizard and frog. Website: jocelynlisinting.wordpress.com