Three Poems by Jerrold Yam


Untailored water, a moon
tucked into where it comes

between, not a ripple for
preaching boredom

or the refracted grace of
accomplishment. Here

things are never larger
than life, yet fuller in

their fellowship with
patience. Behind sky,

anything is possible.
Anything can move

without prayer. Winds
are scouring the sea for

remnants, but what use
for images eating

into themselves—what
gain from hollowing

out the twilight of
one’s errant kin?


Reddening sky, the hum of something
overtaken. No trace of him, or any

reminders. I go through maps, one
by one, each line overtaking identities

endured, discarded—leaves
bruised by wind. Cartography

insists moving on
is moving forward, the ground

a mouth exhaling footsteps, wet
with last night’s compassion.

Between trees, a sun dipping
in similar footsteps, this

absence reddening in pools
to leave the right one behind.


Being a freshman in London is a carnival
of beer and influenza, my liver
accelerating its own rituals,
dutifully sponging up remnants like
an overworked housewife. Each morning
I would drown aspirin with
filtered water, its coughs of nonchalance
waking me up, delaying
the solitude that is mistaken
for independence. After dinner the cycle
relapses, hair and clothes amok
on the dance floor, and when kissing
becomes too much of a drug
I would feel like I’m back home, light
collecting at the sill, the day’s entirety
laid bare to convince me
that this is not how to end.

Profile: Jerrold Yam

1 thought on “Three Poems by Jerrold Yam

  1. Pingback: PENDULUM | Jerrold Yam

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