依 / Depend
Waking, you unfasten your body from bed,
scout the dark for faces. The ochre curtain
shudders in the updraft. In your dream,
every room is like this: everyone you love
has abandoned you, bequeathing you
an abundance of clothes. Once, after school,
you followed another boy home, his shadow
snagging on a barbed wire fence. You stole
a pair of boxers, to keep him real. Each night,
you hug yourself like a straitjacket.
Your body grows used to its own touch.
Loneliness cannot be divested, only
delayed. Trust exercise number one: sleep,
not knowing if you’ll ever wake again.
ERIC YIP was born and raised in Hong Kong. He was the 2021 winner of the National Poetry Competition. He is currently an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge.