Timothy Liu Poems






To catch your face in waves


bejeweled by light flickering

off a ferry’s departing wake,


overtime workers returning


late where a Cuban fog

rolls across my tongue—


maduro smoke I’d be happy


to shotgun down your throat

even if you still can’t tell


the difference between


a V-cut or a punch, the ring

gauge or its length hardly


a lure where cockroaches


stray about my sandals—

such machinery sounding


its frantic nocturne over this


promenade reconstructed

by a skyline—pre-gentrified


eyesore loading docks


dismantled by weeds pushing

up through asphalt where


fishing boats had been


auctioned off—scorpions

scuttling about banana stalks


longshoremen no longer


have to unload—love’s squalor

shoehorned into visions


of barges pulling in, then out.





Timothy Liu is the author of six books of poems, most recently Of Thee I

Sing (Georgia, 2004) and For Dust Thou Art (Southern Illinois, 2005). He

lives in Manhattan.




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