Long Distance

You are running on the rain-dark pavement through Sutton Park.
Where I am, sun. All the dehumidifiers are on in the house. No
fireplaces. Some seas are colder than others, some bodies warmer.
I am drinking Iron Buddha: leaves waiting for their time to blossom.
It is too spring here for my own good, too much green in the salad
bowl. Too many stories of salvation; earlier, blue beyond belief.
The moon is lying on its back in my dreams. What a smile looks
like. A toothbrush touches my lips. Asian steamed sea bass for
dinner with white rice. Victoria Harbour was named after your
queen. How many hearts in a deck of cards shuffled across two
continents? I am catching a plane again tonight, thinking about the
map on your neck.

About Author

Mary Jean Chan
Mary Jean Chan grew up in Hong Kong and studied at Swarthmore College, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London. Her debut pamphlet, A Hurry of English, was selected as the 2018 Poetry Book Society Summer Pamphlet Choice. In 2017, Chan’s poem ‘//’ was shortlisted for the 2017 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. She is a Ledbury Poetry Critic, editor of Oxford Poetry, advisory board member at the Poetry Translation Centre and member of the Folio Prize Academy. She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University and lives in London.

Editor's Notes

'Long Distance' is taken from Mary Jean Chan's new collection of poems, Flèche.