An immigrant’s love song

The cartographer paints your portrait with a broad brush
Yours is the form of the centrefold
Naked and plentiful and burgeoning in just the right places

With clouded sight I gazed upon you
In broken tongue I spoke to you
With broken heart I crawled inside of you
And longed for release

With calloused fingertips
And nails bitten down to the quick
I boldly traced the highways of your body
Hoping that they would lead me to the streets of tomorrow

And in a haze of listlessness
I feigned passion until I embodied it
And there, I caught a glimpse of a future
In the cracks and the valleys of your loins

You were the mercenary lover
And you were the generous fiend
Your beauty was structures abandoned and rusty
Your roots were concrete buried under three feet of snow

You were a conflicted landmass
An island paradox
A seismic schizoid schism
Carved by all competing souls inside of you

Now that your arms are out of my reach
I think of the nights I breathed you in
And pressed my ear against your roaring heart
And wondered why your skies are starless

And when the stars lead me away from you
And then back again
I think of how you let me in and cast me out
And why you found it so hard

To love me

Cover image © Iggi Zhou

About Author

Iggi Zhou is a zine maker and writer of poetry and short prose based in Melbourne, Australia. Her work has appeared in Vallum Contemporary Poetry and Flash Frontiers Journal. She is also the creator and producer of Colour Yarns Podcast, an audio platform for stories by people of colour. You can find more of her work here.

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