HA-1A/Chinatown South


You can’t hold a neighbourhood in the palm of your hand, like a snowglobe.
You can’t shake it to see generations yet to come.

You can’t freeze it in a state of red-cheeked celebration
hands clasped in eternal new year’s greetings
performing stiff-legged routines.
to an emptying room.

It would be kinder to let it

Let its grandchildren bear witness
as memories shutter their doors and
nostalgia papers over its windows.

Let them come forward
oranges in hand
to light incense
at the altars of re-zoning applications.

They will re-develop
postures of defiance.
They will grow their hair long.

They will swim upstream,
through grief, and love and rage,
shedding skins,
swallowing water,
in search of the source.


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