Nicholas YB Wong

Nicholas YB Wong is the author of Cities of Sameness (Desperanto, 2012). His poems are forthcoming in Drunken Boat, Gargoyle, J Journal: New Writing on Justice, The Journal, Mead, Nano FictionPlatte Valley Review, The Portland Review, Quiddity and REAL: Regarding Arts & Letters. He reads poetry for Drunken Boat. Visit him at http://nicholasybwong.weebly.com.




“Monogamous. I’m interested in monogamous.”

— Anne Carson


She pulls the seat belt across her breasts to reach the buckle, a schist in femininity. She looks away. Other cars are arranged in the parking lot neatly like urns. Soon, doors will open, hand-breaks released, people busy getting in and out. She envies those clean and metallic bodies, where a scratch can be covered up by paint. In a car’s life, scars never last long. He turns on the air conditioning, her hands fold on her laps to stop the chill entering her from below the dress. Their car moves, they don’t – first to the bakery, then her office and his. The tires, monogamous to this route, deserve a merit certificate. But when they are about to join the traffic outside, she looks into the rear mirror and finds herself, years younger, in the back seat, where they first made out, where they both thought such desire could last for however long they wanted, where they found nothing in life was monotonous.


Paranormal Panorama

Galicians are proud of their potatoes and watercress; mangosteens and mangoes bear heritage only linguistically. A sheen of shame blows in when the Thai family arrives at the infinity pool with in-room bathrobes and noise. The father nears the sundeck chair whose whole existence is to serve sweaty human bodies. His white sideburns say he is a guru who bareback-rides elephants to his sumptuous poppy fields. His six-year-old bomb-dives, causing ripples that make the water’s face look aged. The mother and daughter are acting maternal at the far end, splashing water onto each other like giant frogs in swamps, ready to lay eggs that look like sago in coconut tapioca. A deserted swing in Argentina sways by itself for ten days, a new tourist attraction. A shark with a snake’s body and toothed gills is found in Japanese waters after earthquakes. More absurd is me closing a book, looking at how they merge joy with travelling. A swimming pool cliché: the father counts from three, his children kicks with skills learned and not learned, departing from the edge of infinity toward me. The clouds are doing their job by hiding the sun, blurbs on the book jacket greased and glazed by tanning oil. This is what the website promised: our resort staff clears floating leaves eight times a day with an extended net, even no one swims there with laughter.