To the Future

By: Janet Jiahui Wu

I eat spaces, I take places, I remit faces, retracing faeces, reliving phases of the inexplicable, diametric, systematic, symmetric sophistry; park bench, hole in the tent, best intent is latest, face is erased in the travelling races, eat into the elbow of folds and graces, last satchel puncture by the sand of Sahara, but who are we, immigrants, refugees, citizens, no-man’s-land persons?

When I went from place A to B, I become like from A to B and then from B to A. I go from B to A as if to see A for the first time and it is made only possible as if looking at A as if looking at B. That moment lasts for about a second. To see something new in something old. To endure marriages, toxic friendships, cunnings of other people. You cannot mend. You cannot change. You mend. You change. And you wake up, unable to recognize the place and the person you have become.

Space one: eat into the place. Space two: paint a wall of worms. Space three: do not explain why you have done A or B or C. Space four: plant trees in the shape of L, for Lesbian abnormality. You are a function curve. You are a stereotype, a coat on a hanger, a shoe in a box. You are a closet without a lock. You balk. You talk. You walk as if you are forever alone.

Folding into memories. We are egg whites. We are not meringues. We will never be. There is only an hour from the rock pools and the PRIVATE PROPERTY sign. You pay thirty dollars to get in. Ten dollars for something else. We are standing in a line of cowards. It is springtime. The time bomb rests on other people’s shoulders. We have no back bones, hence we also have no shoulders.

Personal costs remain. There are only three courses a sick person can take. Course one: jump off a building. Course two: shoot bullets into some kind of sexual opening. Course three: eat so much in a competition that you die from liver failure. A sick man chooses to regret everything and forget nothing. A, B, and C are all suffering from profound maladies.

Consider the rules to tearing something apart. Sleeping rough, like a diamond dove, is never an option for the soft and friable. Watching a French movie without touching and then going from one old people’s home to another old people’s home. You do not embrace. You watch from behind the shades. Something else is happening but it is of no consequence. Invalid and blind, there is a world to discover in the virtual reality inside your lap.

The real world does not disappear as you remove the concealing haze. A fog does lift. A dog does bite. An overcooked broccoli does crumble. Even inside a parking lot the interests grow. Like trees grow. Like trees through the roofs of old buildings in Chernobyl. Long before the grasses. Long before the recognition of the masses. And before long, the grasses wilt.

It is easy to pretend it is forever springtime. I replace springtime with my own time. I am, I was, I can, I must, I will, I shall not. And this is mending and bending and succumbing to something larger than this room. Do not be like me.

Be like the geese who understand the meaning of the feeding tubes. Be like the dog that understands the leash. Gods offer second chances, but there are no second beginnings. It is all the same if it rains and hurricanes, if it tornadoes and we go under a bombshell, a torpedo. The submarine sinks. The volcano is sealed up and becomes a sinkhole. The dough is sweet and sour. The momentary is bitter and tender.

A for amputation. B for bowels and bulls and butane. When the head bangs into Z which stands for Zoo and zero, become the animal. Take nothing.

Start again.

Janet Jiahui Wu is a nonbinary Hong-Kongese-Chinese-Australian visual artist and writer of poetry and fiction. She has published in various literary magazines big and small. She currently lives in South Australia with two sassy fat cats, Puss (in boots) & Pablo (Neruda). She acknowledges and pays respect to the Kaurna people and their elders past, present and future.