Morning Blues


Photograph by Oliver Farry

by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Unlike Balzac, he bought me no gloves.
And none of my fingers is measured
for a ring.

Only I know when
in love, as in Rome,
do as the Romans do.

He wrote me no poems,
and morning begins
with an espresso by a road-side café
facing a courtyard. We watch
immigrant parents and their screaming children
pass by. There are no pigeons.

Does this sound like a fairytale?
His iPhone, buzzing, would agree.
I realise this is his love I am in
and his customs I abide by,

even though a typewriter
is more inspired than
something that glows.

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.