Yellow Stains on Your Chinese Blue
by Felix Chow
It is impolite to wake the dying, silvery maotai on their lips.
You were taught to love the old. They love Mao, and vote
blue. Can you love them still?
Too yellow for your Chinese skin. Said yeh yeh
chopping peppercorns, their scent a reminder
of the birds teargassed to bits.
Your Chineseness is a broken traffic light,
the spraypaint a new bloodline. Yellow your skin,
yellow your heart. Yellow your ribbon too?
That day, you were ‘dreaming’. To your father’s face you lied,
his gaze a meteorite. Be filial! Same hall you first kissed Anna in
is a sleet of beanbag rounds.
How are you supposed to feel when a twelve-year-old hands you a brick?
We fall in place for our daily bread, cameras as our altar boys.
Oh, did you hear his name?
You sealed your dreams in a ziplock bag, far away from
your Chinese eyes. Masks pressed on curb,
bloodstains rich as your mother’s love.
You look at the full-face mask again—
So Huangdi’s child, how do you explain
that cockroaches, too, have dreams?
Photograph © Oliver Farry.
Felix Chow is a third-year student at the University of Hong Kong, majoring in English Studies and minoring in Hong Kong Studies. He is working as a student research assistant at CityU. He is the winner of the the HKBU Century Club Citywide English Poetry Competition 2020 and the Maisie Choa English Poetry Prize. His poems are published/forthcoming in Voice & Verse Poetry Magazine and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. Felix is interested in Hong Kong localism and its representations in Hong Kong English-language writing, as well as emerging local identities in the city. He hopes to pursue an RPg degree. Forever a HongKonger.