Lament: The Chicken Rice Hawker, Penang

By | 12 May 2004

And when you discover they lie
those siblings in the mother country, those parasites
who spend every hard-earned cent of your remittances
on Mao Tai and Fan Tan
and still beg for more –
when you see the opulent mansions of your cheating ancestors
and smell the simmering pots fill with your own cash and sweat
your never laying down the cleaver – well, you can imagine

on their dog's paws a single piece of jade will turn black with the years
you pay off the mortgages on their graves
and yours are dug in the slagheap of mines – well, you can imagine

the ripping of photos will commence
the forgetting of their names.

How a singular duty has led you to this –
your shop full of dragons in a year of crying tigers.
You say: 'This is my wealth, my friend, a secret duck sauce for two dollars
but when I think of our ancestors – ahh you can imagine
worse than the bloody government!
Museums are full of lies!'
The burning of their boats shall commence!

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