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The Joy Luck Club Waitress of Kowloon Tong
Kirby Wright

“Sihk faahn,” you giggled, serving
Shrimp dim sum with congee porridge.

In the restaurant you read my fortune:
“Yat geuk dap leung syun,”

Then scrawled name and email
On a paper napkin. 

You live off Festival Walk
On the 60th floor with your parents.

“Lang do pow kang,”
Boasted your mother.

We sit on a bench
Beside the light rail track.

Smog unfurls over the mountain
Like a bone-white flag.

Your shiny black hair
Rivers through me.

Lips taste of peanuts
From dragon beard candy.

I summon the boy in me
Hidden for decades. 

“Ngoh oi nei,” I stammer
But you don’t believe.

I search for our future
As my train passes.


sihk faahn:  bon appetit
yat geuk dap leung syun:  1 foot on 2 boats (beware of cheating in a relationship)
lang do pow kang:  so pretty the mirror breaks
ngoh oi neih:  I love you

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