The Use of One’s Legs (Sha Tin 沙田)

 

Small Shrine Peng Chau_3 DEC 2018

At least partially paralyzed below the waist,
he is bemused — or cross — in the whole of his face
when baldly I tell him in the best of my bad Cantonese
that I have no interest in tennis at all,
no: mou hingcheui 冇興趣.
“God, what a waste!” I imagine I see him think.
How he wishes he could force my legs
through some quirk or kink
of fate at once to trade places with his!
For solace he lights up a cigarette,
smoking hot air the length of Lek Yuen Street.
When he’s finished lunch we shake able-bodied arms
before he grips calloused wheels with his sugar-cube-crushing palms
and rolls off to a court nearby for a set.
Unsteady as sunstroke as I get to my feet,
I have to duck a dragonfly-volley aimed slap bang right between the eyes,
like guilt.

 

Photograph: 香港坪洲廟仔 Small shrine on Peng Chau, Hong Kong

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