Apologia of the Besieged City

By Nicholas Wong

Some people love like they believe the romantic
folklore about the moon, but they love too literally
from inside a spacesuit. Or they love to feel
like a shell put back onto the sand. They love
the shoreline, without loving to trudge
back up to hard land. They love sleeping over.
In the dark, they love grazing my chest with defeat.
Imagine the vibe in bed. Imagine how hard
it is for me to love them back. They’re blind puppies
when we fuck. They wriggle around to find
an available nipple to nurse. They love dirty
talk. They love asking for permission to lash out.
They love doing it when I moan. They love to hear, Sure.
They love me as much as they love the spasms inside electric
Tenga cups. They love bathing me afterward. It’s pretty, they know.
Their terror lathering along my calves, so tangible & white.

Nicholas Wong is the author of Besiege Me (Noemi Press, 2021), and Crevasse (Kaya Press, 2015), the winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. He is also the recipient of the Australian Book Review’s Peter Porter Poetry Prize. His poem has been longlisted for the University of Canberra Vice Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize in 2019. Wong has contributed writing to the radio composition project “One of the Two Stories, Or Both” at the Manchester International Festival 2017, and the catalogue of the exhibition “One Hand Clapping” at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. He teaches at the Education University of Hong Kong.