The moment they tighten the noose
the city has never been so alive
and we have never felt more purpose,
We call each other brothers and sisters,
we care for each other like brothers and sisters.
On the streets,
in the shopping malls,
at the airport we cry Freedom!
Nathan Road, Prince Edward, Jordan, Hung Hum,
Causeway, Yau Ma Tei, Mong Kok…
this is the city of our loving, our exile.
Lungs full of air, heads full of sounds
we climb the highest hill,
hoist our flags for all to see.
The hands of the empire finally reach us
after a century,
the horse-face dynasty in trendy suits
tempting us with a giant gold cake.
We say we have nothing for sale.
We know what we see.
To their bullets and teargas
we have umbrellas, our linked arms,
a new anthem crude as our faith.
But it is still faith
and you can’t call it anything else.
Pui Ying Wong is the author of two full-length books of poetry, An Emigrant’s Winter (Glass Lyre Press, 2016) and Yellow Plum Season (New York Quarterly Books, 2010), along with two chapbooks. A new book, The Feast, is forthcoming from MadHat Press. She has received a Pushcart Prize. Her poems have appeared in Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, Plume Poetry, New Letters, Zone 3 and The New York Times, among many others. Born and raised in Hong Kong, she lives in Cambridge Massachusetts with her husband, the poet Tim Suermondt.