Li Chiu Chun

Fannou Poems: Teapot
Translated by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Tonight, we’ve learnt to collect tomorrow’s papers,
to avoid certain topics in the news,
while the Lazy Susan continues to spin.

At the dining table farthest from the television,
an argument about last week emerges in our teacup.
Little did you and I expect this chance encounter
                                                   during visiting hours.
The surface of the tea is calm. We both look down.
Indeterminate tea leaves: float or submerge.
Can we both see the colour of the brewed tea under the lid?
The scent of food dances, rises above.
But we know it will eventually dissipates.

Granny will be ready to go home tomorrow. You say
I’m speculating about the shades of tea in the pot, the cups still warm.
More than once, we leave the tails of our voices on the sickbed.
Granny kept saying our facial features were still distinctive to her
and before the operation, she was yelling to be discharged.
How could I see this world through your eyes?
The food is now all cold.
The reverse side of the mirror might have long been broken.
There are two colours in the teapot waiting to open.

When we push the door to leave,
the bus you were waiting for has just left.

Li Chiu Chun

Li Chiu Chun is studying at Hong Kong Baptist University, majoring in Chinese Language and Literature. He is keen on reading and writing.

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is the founding co-editor of the Hong Kong-based Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize and her translations have appeared in China Literature Today, Pathlight, CURA: A Literary Magazine or Art and Action,The Margins, among others. More at