Que Será, Será (a song from my photo album)

At sweet sixteen
we lived in North Point
a skyscraper upon a hill
overlooking the crescent harbour
Victoria and its typhoon shelter
fish boats, sail boats
safe at bay, Causeway Bay
little bay, Wan Chai
the big pill Damaru

Where were you
when we're in white school uniforms
you must have been writing poems
saving up lunch money
buying books outside of
school curriculum

In the evening I did dishes
eyeing the million-dollar sunset
the little radio I tied up
to a battery pack with a plastic band
airing songs the Beatles sang
'she loves you yeah yeah yeah'
that Winter
a Siamese cat we later named Pussy
got lost between twenty floors
marched out from the elevator
and entered our door
he would jump and sleep on my feet
only to be kicked out of bed

When we were busy teasing our cat
riots broke out like poppy flowers
you must have been busy helping your father
in the make-shift family darkroom
printing photographs of
left wing propaganda

Pussy loved to sit on
uncle George's warm
birch plywood hi-fi set
who sometimes would put on
aunt Manah's favorite
33 1⁄3 rpm vinyl record
Doris Day's hit on Billboard
Que Será, Será
what ever will be will be
cousin Lolly and I were almost twins
we wore similar perm hair and identical jeans

Aunt Florine came every New Year's day
brought me birthday cards I saved
in my photo album I also kept
the Christmas card I once designed
and won the book Cuore as a price
a book I haven't read
the heart of a boy I never met

Where were you when the cold wind blew
you were playing
little photo stall keeper
underneath your building's staircase
teaching customers
how to load films
into their Agfa
Brownie or Exakta

Published on Sep 10, 2018
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