New York City, USA
DIVINING POEM FOR A QUARANTINE NIGHT
after Liu Waitong
The green bottle on the ledge has been there since spring.
The plant we thought dead put out a single new green shoot.
At night we read poems, put on music and go painting.
Under the living room lights I forget it’s been three days.
I have seven cans of tuna I don’t know what to do with.
At the kitchen sink I scrub my inner forearms clean,
blow smoke into the silence of my company.
Maybe the taste of disappointment is like Nutella.
I try to be serious, but I’ve forgotten not laughing.
I turn around and find a toothpick right when I need it.
So many years to continue on, we’d thought,
and the person you want to call never calls.
Cleo Qian is a writer based in New York.