倒 / Inversion
By Eric Yip
My grandfather uncremates himself onto his bed. Coins leap
from the beggar’s bowl into a passerby’s hand. On the other
side of earth, families pour from departure gates, return bodies
to first embraces. The teapot drinks with its snout. One stroke
after another, the painter erases their masterpiece. The camera
swallows the Polaroid, the flash. Room blackened to a negative,
a man wraps a leather belt round his lover’s waist, its tail
slithering through each loop like an obedient snake. In the novel
I am reading, an amnesiac remembers more and more of herself
until she is whole again. I dream of the city where memory is
a two-way street, snow rising from asphalt as if summoned
for the rapture, gravity wound backwards like a watch.
It is what it is, my father would say. Is it? What is it? I close the book,
hibernate the story. The past is fixed. It doesn’t matter what I do next.