This Little Fish by Belle Ling

Our faces in water bearing us
            like mirrors watching
from the depth of a void,

            where I hear a call:
Here, I am here
            Turning, my fish, her swirls

and twines hardly break away
            from me by breaking a full
circle of what could be reflecting:

            we’re only strangers.
What stays unbroken here
            is a trap within myself;

all these years, not a rupture
            turns me away from it—
a little tinier, with whatever

            caught unseen turning.
Determined to swim
            through all that comes,

I’m tinier as the universe
            moves, and it moves with
a big scheme of something

            bigger as I watch my fish
glow, alighting waves.
            Tonight, let me carry

you, whereby I’m this—
            little fish in my throat:
Come back, come back.

Belle Ling was born and raised in Hong Kong. She received her PhD in Creative Writing at The University of Queensland, Australia. Her first poetry collection A Seed and a Plant was shortlisted for The HKU International Poetry Prize 2010. Her more recent poetry manuscript Rabbit-Light was highly commended in the 2018 Arts Queensland Thomas Shapcott Poetry Prize. Her other manuscript Grass Flower Head was shortlisted for the First Book Poetry Prize 2018 of Puncher and Wattmann. In 2016, her poem “That Space” won a second place in the ESL category of the International Poetry Competition organized by the Oxford Brookes University. Her poem “63 Temple Street, Mong Kok” was a co-winner in the Peter Porter Poetry Prize 2018 held by the Australian Book Review. The other poem of hers “One Intimate Morning” was shortlisted for the International Poetry Prize 2019 of the Atlanta Review. Her poems also appeared in World Literature Today, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Yuan Yang, Meanjin, Overland, Mascara Literary Review, Taj Mahal Review, The Istanbul ReviewFoothill: A Journal of PoetryNew Reader Magazine, and more. She is now teaching at the HKU Guild, based in the School of English at The University of Hong Kong.