Do you remember when you first met him?
Grey sky pardons over us, leave your boots
at the door and come to greet the other side.
Snow will fall here soon and we will be gone
This poem should be in Russian, кто ты? студент?*
Instead I come to you, hands wrapped around my feet.
At the year’s end, no scraps escape the flames
and our dreams of sharing fall light as ash.
The bowels of sister-earth digest these tickets.
Spirits of the house remain transfixed since
we have nothing to offer them. How then to
move onwards, my love, over this aromatic sheen?
*Who are you? Student?
By Sam O’Hana
Photograph by HsienLoong Lim