This Is Just to Say


Photograph by Oliver Farry

by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

When we are laughing
at your joke,
I slap your face.

Forgive me.

I want to show you my love,
but the truth is

I don’t know what I am doing.

I tear a page
from your Portuguese dictionary.

I’m sorry, but it is
so welcoming.

I am jealous of you thumbing
the dictionary instead of me.

You’re a marvellous cannibal.

Forgive me.

I want to be provocative.
And you’re really

a good eater
and it’s not beyond my persona

to say so.

About the Author:

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born writer currently based in the UK. She is a founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and an editor of the London-based Fleeting Magazine and the academic journal Victorian Network. She edited Hong Kong U Writing: An Anthology in 2006 and co-edited Love and Lust in 2008. Her own work has been widely published in print and online and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize. She is finishing her PhD thesis on Neo-Victorian fiction at King’s College London.