Exit to City

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