United Arab Emirates

[ a f r a h ]

far too nonchalant about things i should probably care about

Message from Writer

reviews pLeAsE. reviews without anything constructive are honestly a waste of your time, more than anything. be harsh or whatever when you critique me, but please do.

as for comments, they help a lot lol so if you drop a few, it would be highly appreciated.

hong kong

March 29, 2020



i am born from the land of salt marches and saffron, and learn to spin periwinkle studded fantasies in a country slick with sweat and oil. my eyes are accustomed to only two names on the atlas resting on my desk, afflicted by bathtub fingerprints and the harsh caresses of sunlight. 

a fondness for unscathed tourist shrines settles under my skin. so i turn to the inescapable lull of cinema, the reels and the blacks and whites and eyes that speak before mouths do. and it is here i discover hong kong. 

hong kong of the '90s. wong kar wai's hong kong. 

     and suddenly, i was maggie cheung falling for a man who only loved her for an hour a day, disguised under endearing smiles and smoldering gazes; i was takeshi kaneshiro eating thirty cans of expired pineapples, for it is better to have loved and lost, than not at all; i was tony leung in the empty metro train, whispering goodbye to the man who loved like a toxin seeping through his skin.

i was all of them. 

i am all of them. i am dimly lit corridors. i am boxy ticket offices. i am mold-kissed walls. i am the lone kitchen shared by a dingy building. i am a food stall with blaring loudspeakers. i am an apartment that cries. i am an empty tunnel stretching endlessly. i am the breath fogging on unkempt windows. i am the stolen midnight kisses. i am the hollow dances between familiar strangers with a decaying love.

hong kong of the old and gray. hong kong with the sensual yellows and oranges. hong kong and the reverie of detached disenchantment. hong kong that my dreams reminisced. hong kong that i could taste between my angry teeth, touch the callouses of, house in my weary bones.

hong kong that no longer exists.

a love letter to the hong kong that wkw has shown me. 

sweat and oil, because UAE is hot, and made its fortune from oil reserves. 

the films referenced are days of being wild, chungking express, and happy together. 



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  • mason wong

    This is so good!!!

    8 months ago
  • Ruthh

    so beautiful! the last line practically took my breath away

    10 months ago
  • mia_:)

    This is such a beautiful piece! I love the first paragraph especially, because it gives readers a glimpse of what your home is like. Great work!

    10 months ago
  • asta

    love the descriptions here, they're more poetry than prose!

    10 months ago
  • the contrarian

    I long to have your skill with words. I don't read many works on this site, but when I do it's usually a treat. Thank you for writing this.

    10 months ago
  • jun lei

    i love this. the descriptions. the beauty of something snatched away. that final line--

    10 months ago
  • Riley Noel

    This piece made me feel like I was walking through a hazy dream. One that disappeared right when I turned around again. Stunning work!

    10 months ago