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.
- Eileen Chong - The Library of Names.