Self-love in a time of coronavirus: 'Hong Kong Sleeps on Broken Glass'

by Jasmine Ho, Faustina Yick, Shraavasti Bhat
  • Three students from King George V School initiated ‘Umami’ - a series of poems and illustrations that speak to the hearts of Hong Kong youth today
  • They hope their works can be a source of comfort for readers as they navigate these hard-to-describe times
by Jasmine Ho, Faustina Yick, Shraavasti Bhat |

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My father marches home
Rubber boots cut bloody
Shards dug into his bare

October, midnight.
Labyrinth of laser spirits
Blinding police but not
For him – carving deeper
Hieroglyphic wrinkles
Commemorating Those
before him. I massage
my father.

The TV is on: vomiting Numbers we
devour numbly. “This is war,” father
declares, But all I see is a boy
bound in black, Yellow glint of
flint-eyes dulled from fifty-dollar
goggles, A hand that I had held
close. swerving away, weaving
arms with the frontline as if it were

He was at the threshold of the
dragon den and our city’s

Tossed eyeless into a cataract.
faded blue and drowning murky
miasma that heaves
I massage my father harder – fix torn
muscles and hairy legs – Reach
for the boy but its water.

“This Is War,” yet I
lay in bed.

Torn between two,
Sleeping on broken glass.