December 10, 2022


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Two poems by Jerrold Yam

1 min read



Then I feel myself pressed on the gnarly woodwork
of the restaurant wall, inching away
from our table where friends decipher

steak with hushed incisions. Third birthday lunch
of the week, the gelatinous air
chastising me, and I cannot understand

the script of hands in perpetual
movement as if to heed some
divine calling, coaxing knives

out of napkins as a mother
rouses her baby. Six people
together is enough cause for mirth.

How can it amount to anything else? Bowls
wait to be used. Lamps angle overhead
like rumours. By candlelight

I am unable to discern the names
of my friends or tell them apart.
In time, applause will weaken

to footsteps, arms pining after jackets with
a lover’s ferocity, our silhouettes untouched
by squeaks and stains, the aftermath.

You need to be logged in to view the rest of the content. Please . Not a Member? Join Us

1 thought on “Two poems by Jerrold Yam