PoetryIssue 17 | March 2013

The Pink Apartment

by Pui Ying Wong

Sai Kung

It was a low rise building.
The smell of cooked garlic
lingered between the floors,
laughter bursting
from the radios and jokes told
in my native tongue.

I was a stranger at home.
I walked among
the neighbors, quiet
as an unstrung guitar.

I waited for the bus, greeted
by commuters wary like moles
caught in the sun, nothing
could assuage them:
not morning’s pure light,
not their own dreams. 

I tried to conjure your face
but I was distracted
while you,
like a wayward cloud,
sauntered off.

I listened to rain tapping
on the air conditioner, frogs
silent in the sewer,

my eyes wandering
to the wall where a gecko
mounted itself, playing dead
with its eyes open,

where the paint almost undone
by humidity and time
was blistering
like a tropical illness.

About the author

Pui Ying Wong was born in Hong Kong, lived in Japan as a college student, and now calls Brooklyn home. She has travelled to China, Thailand, Vietnam, France, England, and to many cities in the US and Canada. You can find her work in decomP, New York Quarterly, Prairie Schooner and Valparaiso Poetry Review, among others, or read her latest book of poetry.

Read our current issue:


Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok