Poetry - Issue 03 | February 2009

Free Association

by Tammy

Free Association

A cat.

It pisses in front of its mistress’s house,
A retort, no doubt, for kicking it out,
Into this night of dim pavements.
It remembers the warmth of its own doormat,
The moon shining outside the window.

She could have kept the cat,
She could have killed it, put its paws in a soup.
Heart-broken, how could she keep this living token?
She steals a quick look through the blinds;
It is there, it is still there.
It has not gone to the garden.

He submits himself to circling the house.
Just another half hour, he thinks,
Except that he thought the same half hour ago.
But before her anger subsides,
He’s consoled that his cat’s also exiled.

A man.

About the author

Tammy Ho Lai-ming is a Hong Kong-born writer currently based in London. She is the editor of Hong Kong U Writing: An Anthology (2006) and co-editor of Love & Lust (2008). She is also an assistant poetry editor of Sotto Voce Magazine and a founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal . More about Tammy Ho Lai-Ming here.

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