In Private, I Write To You My Lady



by Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

I think of you often –
You, you, you, as if you are uncommon.
Now in sex I see you – the
Eternal beginning of a sensible secret –
The s that somehow sacrifices a significant
Part of the self. The s that
Is related to snake and sin and surrender and shout.

An eye can possess things that our bodies cannot –
When I eye you I have you and you have infidelity.
How immobile we are, like i is in in and it always is.
We are imperfect, impossible, impulsive.
But when we are juxtaposed with one another I can only remember
I am yours and you are a ball of fire.

Now we are in the middle of something,
Somewhere, as opposite to nothing, nowhere.
‘Me’ in remember reminds you to remember me –
Many times my hands and mouth are on your false member
And m stands for the moment I miss you.
Therefore m is constant, m is melancholy, m is many.

O! That o which implies oddity, I do not care
So long as you give me an o which is
Followed tightly by a string of letters:
r-g-a-s-m. Can’t I think of anything else? You wonder.
I think of being occupied, obsession, legs that open or
Wrapped together. And the shape my mouth forms sometimes
When the voice from my throat is only

Do not forget the stubborn n of nose
That stands out of your face that buries in my breasts that
Soften with your breath. I thrive. I am willing to be nothing
In your life only if you allow me to be in your life. Nonsense,
Naive, nude, noble, nearly.

I think of you often –
You, you, you, and you are –

First published in Magma Poetry. Art by Ricky Garni.

About the Author:


Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. She has edited several volumes of poetry and short fiction published in Hong Kong and her own poems have been nominated for the Pushcart Prize three times and the Forward Prize. Her poetry collection Hula Hooping (Chameleon Press) was published in April 2015 and her short story collection Her Name Upon The Strand (Delere Press) will be published in 2016. She is an Assistant Professor at Hong Kong Baptist University, where she teaches poetics, fiction and modern drama.