5 Poems by Carly Luk



they call it a race; a competition to win
a prize of blonde hair, of freckles, fair skin
I lost before birth, trapped behind the Great Wall
I keep my eyes on the ground so you won’t see they’re too small.



you’re begging me for answers to questions that plague my mind as well
wonder why I cannot save you, why your fears I can’t dispel
I hear you scratching at the door that has locked me in alone
I’m fumbling for the keys while you leave me messages at the tone.



the pen is my knife; I bleed onto paper.
carving my thoughts before they vanish like vapor.
I scatter my words like they’re seeds in the street
birds come to feed on the blood at my feet.



I was the devil on your shoulder; I held the wine to your lips
fed you bites of poison apple between your shy, cautious sips
the snake that led you to the garden from which you emerged a sinner
your heart infected with my venom, blood slowly running thinner.



pour coffee in a mug. milk and sugar, add a stir.
there’s a picture on the wall; steal a glance, remember her.
sink into the chair. take a sip, make it last.
there’s less in your future than there is in your past.