Ginny Ip

I want the world. I want to swim in the ocean
while it rains and not be afraid of drowning
like a discarded piece of plastic
dragged along by the waves, suffering
until it nearly kills me and then I want to run away
from the neon lights of the city and lie down
somewhere I would not know one day from the next
except for the sea of stars that appear each night
and the phases of the moon telling me
all the things we do not know about the universe.

I want the earth. I want to walk in the wilderness
and feel the sun dancing on my shadowless face
while I flail my way through weeds and bushes
not surprised by the sting of thorns on my legs
nor the beads of sweat running down my back
no, I would be in awe
of the birds in the trees and the pretty little flowers
and all those things we do not know about the universe.

I want to feel it, live it, learn it all
before the universe shuts its eyes one day
and all this will be just
a wanting.

When asked about the inspiration for this work, Ginny said, “I wrote this poem one night when I was feeling sad and nostalgic for home. I grew up in the mountains of Hong Kong, away from the densely-packed city, and used to spend many weekends exploring its lush green forests where monkeys, boars and cows would roam freely. As a child, I’d felt most present and at peace with myself during these outings, in addition to a burning curiosity for the wildlife around me. I think this has made me a person who feels deeply now even as an adult — someone who cries and gets mad easily for the same reason I laugh so often: because I am paying attention.”