Carol Ann Duffy


Writing it, I see how much I love the sound,
Chinatown. Chinatown. Chinatown.
We went down, the day of the Year of the Monkey,
dim sum and dragons bound.

                                              Your fair head
was a pearl in the mouth of the crowd. The fireworks
were as loud as love, if love were allowed
a sound. Our wishing children pressed their incense
into a bowl of sand

                               in Chinatown, the smoke drifting off
like question marks over their heads. If I had said
what I’d wished, if I had asked you to tell me the words.
shifting up from your heart 

                                            for your lips to sift,
at least I’d have heard their sound uttered by you,
although then nothing we’d wished for in Chinatown.
Chinatown, Chinatown, would ever come true.