After a wet spring, the rattan mat
that spent May caught in a maple
looks like hair, a note of horror
on a cul-de-sac, blowing out kinks
under lamplight. The modest row
of semi-detached homes pull
their blinds at my tower block,
making a good show of being
put upon, poor things, their
petunias. Sky of bright rust and
soapy aquamarine. A half lemon
wrinkles, extrudes slick seeds
and the flies appear. I don’t know
how I do it. How the city does it,
constantly appearing as paper,

collaged and aswim in emulsion,
then tipping over into dystopia,
white cell count of the expressway,
the cellophane chill, the organic
chicken. I love graffiti for being
a constant among the variables.
Least aware when I need milk
for the morning, the unplanned


Grief’s Garden
On Being French and Chinese