Poetry 01: Losing Him Losing You

My fingers met yours beneath the table,
The taste of your soft lips dwell;
Hesitated if we would be able
To bear the letter L.

If only we weren’t His children,
Jeez, I could have been your b.
Love is preached but love is forbidden,
A logic I would not agree.

I watch as he cracks your Rubik’s,
Oh, how your eyes gaze so fondly.
Would our hearts also have clicked,
If I as well have the T?

Hold your cute words if they’re platonic,
For you must have no clue,
How your compensation is ironic,
I have lost Him and I have lost you.

Two white girls with shoulder-length hair in grey shirts sitting back to back in front of a blue sunset background
Photo by Courtney Nuss on Unsplash

This is the first poem I’ve ever written, excluding the dodgy primary school ones, I’m so very proud! I would love to know your interpretations of this poem before you proceed with reading the context and analysis below.

On the surface level, this is a love poem about a queer relationship that didn’t last very long. It has been 6 years, and although I am over the person, there are some first-love feelings that I could not get over, whether it be the feelings of love, lust or just hurtful feelings in general.

I like my poems ambiguous/ mysterious so there is room for people to guess, but it also implies how most of my memory is faded. With the ambiguous pronouns, I believe most people would find it confusing — “Her” means her, “him” is her boyfriend, and “Him” is God.

Once I started writing this poem I knew I had to sprinkle in some “LGBTQ” magic. I found it super tricky to make every letter of the acronym fit, but I eventually made it work after several edits (over many months). The “L” is the most important symbol, it stands for “lesbian”, a word that I don’t like saying out loud as it seems to be a taboo in Hong Kong; “T” instead of representing “transgender”, it actually means “testosterone” here. It wasn’t that I wanted to be a trans guy, but I somehow wished I was born a guy, and perhaps having that testosterone (masculinity) in me would make her fall in love with me (how silly of me). In fact, I was being told in a joking way that she would marry me if I were a guy — never want to hear that phrase again. With the remaining letters, you might have to go for another letter hunt, it’s quite hidden!

On a deeper level, this poem conveys the conflicting feelings I felt that when my queer and religious identity could not co-exist. I have spent the last few years taming my fears, and usually I accept the fact that I will be choosing my queerness over the other. However, one day after listening to a friend’s podcast on Sexuality vs Religion, it struck me all over again and my frustrations overflowed as if two asteroids collided. Luckily enough, my mentor talked me through it and explained how conflicting identities can co-exist, but will require us to make some sacrifices. Really grateful for that deep chat, and hopefully I shall never feel upset about this again.

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18 HK×Syd. I need a platform to contain my overflowing thoughts about what matters to me or constantly bugs me. Hope it inspires you in some way;)

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Leticia Liao

18 HK×Syd. I need a platform to contain my overflowing thoughts about what matters to me or constantly bugs me. Hope it inspires you in some way;)