The graduation ceremony
had to end early, the chancellor
left with guards. Students
held signs in black gowns, saying,
“You can’t kill us all.”
How do we live up to that?
Inaudible, the sound of choice
midst human traffic.
These are our flesh and blood
until they are not, then poof,
they leave our nests, wear masks,
business as usual.
………………………This too is not
blood on our hands, these hands
not our hands, rinsed clean
by the blood of another’s lamb.
Sam Cheuk is a Hong Kong-born Canadian poet and author of Love Figures (Insomniac Press, 2011), Deus et Machina (Baseline Press, 2017), and the upcoming collection Postscripts from a City Burning (Palimpsest Press, 2021) on the 2019 protests in Hong Kong and their aftermath. He holds an MFA in creative writing from New York University and a BA in English literature from the University of Toronto. He is currently working on the second half of the diptych, tentatively titled Marginalia, that examines the function, execution, and generative potential behind censorship. #香港人加油 #StandWithHongKong