Joey Chin

Writing: Love 写:爱

1 The errant feather falls in her moon-furled wisp
2 from
3               curiosity
4                                   and gravity.
5 The wayward wind sweeps in and
6 blankets her with his long tendril
7 before they float
8 to the ground
9 where they promised
10 there would be no more flights without the other.

Note: “Writing: Love 写: 爱” is a description of the order of all ten strokes in the simplified Chinese character for “love", 爱 (ái). 


Sayang, my father called my brother at birth
even though I couldn’t see love in an unhearing
day-old thing, face swallow and features tentative
like dough waiting to rise.

Sayang, was all my grandmother said
when he died at three months.
Pity is open-ended and loss vague
so she kept them within two syllables
then left alone to be defined by time.

Sayang, my mother called my father
so I called my husband that too
even if it only met his ears
like Schatz met mine.
What we had was description,
not meaning, so we settled for “love”,
the closest it touched our native hearts.

Sayang, what my mother said
when I was divorced too soon
and had no explanation for
except that it was sayang;
in that same breath
of loving and losing,
the opposite also found
right where we stand.

Joey Chin

Joey Chin is currently a graduate student pursuing her MFA at City University of Hong Kong. She is interested in etymology and languages.