“Nov 7, 19 (4)” by Sam Cheuk1 min read

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Photography by Sam Cheuk

Don’t call them dogs.
Protest is merely a sound
for ears that must stay deaf
for those who feed above.

They are more bothersome,
just as you are bothersome
as a roach, they are people
who have reasons of their own.

Reasons that put a baton
to the nape of your back, whisper
in your ear, “but breathe.”

So breathe. Keep breathing
because death is not an option
unless you be among the meek.
Keep going, add fuel, a solution
will figure itself out.

Where you stand, winning
or not, at least you’ll leave
a shoe print, your place in the sand
at the beach we grew up with,
popsicle juice dripping—remember
the romance you exist within.




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

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