Jing-jing Lee, 2015

It’s something to see –

the dead stirring to life.

Watch how they rise,

shaking the frost from their limbs,

how they drop their shrouds

heavy with damp, eyes

minted over,

cool as copper.

While they take their first breaths again,

I mark the mariner’s lines

veined through their skin,

touch the compass rose

etched into their wrists.

They say:

I’ve been away for years,

hiding in the ribs of a ship.

Keeping time

while they laid stone over marsh,

while they dotted light

into the eyes of saints.

I was a voyager,

a spinster poet,

an artist’s wife, moons’ away.

All of us,

laid into squares

dark as vaults.

They stop and I lean into the fog

in front of their mouths.

When they speak, the words are black. Soft.

Lie down, they say,

wait for it,

take your time.



A poem by Jing-jing Lee for Time Out, Oude Kerk, Amsterdam, November 7th, 2015