Daniel W.K. Lee


I memorized the chapter with you
at age five, soup ladles for hands,
digging to Fujian for the starving ones
your mother swore would eat liver
without being asked twice,
because they knew obedience
made boys men.

You never met those sons
who grew up to be everything
you aren’t, did you?

I hear they have them in Spain now:
Moorish bachelors built like fortresses,
whose eyes are crusades
converting infidels like you—

who loved God more than me.


as in nearby:

a boy’s hand
shivering with longing
carves the air
just above
his slumbering crush
into a sarcophagus

he can never again
come that close

that vulnerable
to a man

as in almost:

knees flirt
a slice of thigh
then calves
get acquainted

mine are in their 30s
uncertain of whose
turn is it

or if anyone had
made a move


Daniel W.K. Lee is a Malaysian-born, Chinese American poet whose work has been
seen in various online and print publications, including the forthcoming issues of the
UK journals Agenda and Oxford Poetry. Lee is also a relationship/sex advice writer at
EmandLo.com and blogs at danielextra.net. He can be reached at