where you’re going

Poetry
one ocean one
continent
from the place you were
born you are
dying, suspended
over university and elm
in february

with expert hands
chang ping aims into flesh long
needles
the tip connects to
the point opens
into the pathway and you
follow, she drapes a thin silk scarf
over your trunk
leaves the room for a
tea from timmy’s

she says to family, 3 to 5 a.m. the body
is weakest, it will happen
then, he is
tired his body is not
holding water call me
tomorrow

the path
you have taken:
shanghai to hong kong
hong kong to montreal
montreal to

toronto
parkdale to little portugal
little portugal to university and elm
university and elm to

3 a.m.
to 5 a.m. tides withdraw
from each meridian, that ocean
here to claim you, now you as always in
between.

Olive Senior read this piece in manuscript, helping develop it for TOK.
View Yaya Yao’s author profile.