Helen Han Wei Luo Literature Poetry


from lena to maribelle

this is just to say that I have eaten the plums, en route from Georgia, pits and carmine juice spat
on roadside dirt to pucker the ground, so sweet, so cold. Carrion for suckling
mayflowers. You may have been saving them for breakfast, some decades past, the thrill
of this forbidden banality streaming between our fingertips, cushioning our smokeless lungs. The cleanliness
of it all, that Midwest plywood trailer-house, hidden from eucharistic malaise, where the divine
lull of womanhood stood unrushed, its ashen-teal tiling the perfect missing blue
of a river I would never find but still promised to you, Maribelle, let me build for us a little birch canoe,
and carry you away.

so this cannot wait. What is grief but a pang in the breastbone–years ago I, missing you,
thirstily drank the whole works of Dickinson, did she not say her heart
twisted like this? If only I could set my lips to the Atlantic and drain this petty ocean between us,
unveiling that Aegean island, quenching that corporeal ache,
brining that saccharine plum mundanity. Burn the wheat fields
for lavender bunches beneath bare feet. Come laugh with me,
under our merry lunar scene.

dawn comes and goes, and it
changes nothing. Maribelle,
I confess that
I have been
of you.
is a shame
that can only exist
amongst women. This is the
private scorn of failed docility, ugliness
seen only between those who know each other
intimately. This is an illicit feeling, it is viscous, skintight,
fleshy and porous. I have so much disgust for
you, about you, surrounding you, loving
you. Forgive me, Maribelle,
I am coming back
now. So this


All the roads from Georgia are coated with red pits
from the plums that I have eaten, that taste good to me. Soon, an orchard will spring,
ripe with the lush defiance of earthly happenings, with the same force and conviction
that arouses errant stars, that beckons sunlight to our faces. So begone, wet,
clinging fears. No more despair of bodily movement. My back aches from hardy rigours,
the weight of that little birch canoe grating my spine, grinding tender callouses
into my hands across all the roads from Georgia, one for each indebted promise
on each coiled spiral of my fingers–Maribelle,
I am coming back
for you.

Helen Han Wei Luo is an emerging Canadian-Chinese writer and philosophy student, currently completing an MA degree at the University of British Columbia. Her work has previously been longlisted for the CBC Literary Prizes. Presently, she is working on a collection of poetry tentatively titled All the Grains of Sand in Samsara.