Starry Night


You open the door to find her with her hand outstretched.

She wrenches you through the double doors of the elevator

Out of the apartment building,

Into a starry August night.

You tighten your grip on her hand as you cross the little stream 

dividing the building from the outside world.

She sprints through the maple trees, stringing you along

While you make your way to the gates of the complex.

You stop, unsure, as she waits by the crosswalk.

Jinqiao is quiet, save for the small crackle of firecrackers across the street at Century Park

Behind you, Family Market is open late – strangely so

You begin to cross the street when she pulls you back on the sidewalk

Pushing you into a taxi cab, she scoffs 

And the driver expertly maneuvers through the streets of Shanghai

Up on the lit-up highway

Plastic separating you from the front seats

As she stuffs a moon cake into your mouth

And your hands find each other’s once again

You sit underneath the Pearl Tower

And watch the lit up skyline under the full moon

She tells you about Hou’yi and Chang’e and their forbidden love story

The pain inflicted on both of their innocent souls, fighting for one another

And she tells you how they were not fighting out of foolishness and naivety 

But for love

that’s what makes

The world go round

The full moon beams

as every other family reunites with their loved ones

But not your family,

And not her family.

Your family fails to see the forest for the trees.

They don’t celebrate these things: it’s foolish, you see

And her?

Her father left three years ago and her mother works late shifts at the Lost Heaven

Every day she’s told it’s meaningless to celebrate when they’re in such deep shit. 

Why won’t she understand

You have no one

And you are alone.

So you eat moon cakes and steal kisses

And pretend you had a family

For one starry August night.

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