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The Library of Names

Today is about finding out. Fill in

a card at the desk. Write your name

with a pencil. Print if you know how. Drop

 

the card down a slot cut into the face

of a box. Eee, not aieee – Irish, from Gaelic,

meaning light. The boy with the pierced lip

 

was named for a loud perennial herb.

He grows thin from a crack in the pavement

alongside thick red carpet rolled out

 

for a film premiere. The movie was shot

entirely on a boat drifting across the Tasman

between two islands. The actress was not trained

 

to speak in Chinese and so mouthed

her lines phonetically.  The greenstone maze

of a tattoo formed like blood on her chin.

 

When you look up the sun’s an egg yolk broken

on the horizon. Long shadows of stacked books

fall across the room like split chopsticks.

 

Go to Eileen Chong's profile to read more poems

Project

Poem Audio

  • Eileen Chong - The Library of Names.