Nashua Gallagher

[Nashua’s selected poem can be found below. 
[Return to Table of Contents.]

Your Lifelong Prisoner
by Liu Xiaobo, written from prison [via.]

To Xia

My dear,
I’ll never give up the struggle for freedom from the oppressors’
jail, but I’ll be your willing prisoner for life.

I’m your lifelong prisoner, my love
I want to live in your dark insides
surviving on the dregs in your blood

inspired by the flow of your estrogen

I hear your constant heartbeat
drop by drop, like melted snow from a mountain stream
if I were a stubborn, million-year rock
you’d bore right through me
drop by drop

day and night

Inside you
I grope in the dark
and use the wine you’ve drunk
to write poems looking for you
I plead like a deaf man begging for sound
Let the dance of love intoxicate your body

I always feel
your lungs rise and fall when you smoke
in an amazing rhythm
you exhale my toxins
I inhale fresh air to nourish my soul

I’m your lifelong prisoner, my love
like a baby loath to be born
clinging to your warm uterus
you provide all my oxygen
all my serenity

A baby prisoner
in the depths of your being
unafraid of alcohol and nicotine
the poisons of your loneliness
I need your poisons
need them too much

Maybe as your prisoner
I’ll never see the light of day
but I believe
darkness is my destiny
inside you
all is well

The glitter of the outside world
scares me
exhausts me
I focus on
your darkness—
simple and impenetrable


NASHUA GALLAGHER‘s debut poetry collection is All the Words a Stage (Chameleon Press, 2018). She is the founding director of Peel Street Poetry, a literary arts collective that have ran spoken word sessions and other events in Hong Kong for the past twelve years. Her work has previously been featured in Not A Muse (2009), OutLoud Too (2013) and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. She has performed her poetry at several Hong Kong International Literary Festivals and TEDxWanChai‘s main stage event. She lives, works and writes in Hong Kong with her husband, two children and growing menagerie of animals. (Picture of Nashua © South China Morning Post.)

PEN_Nashua.jpg[Nashua Gallagher: A featured reader at Liu Xiaobo Elegies (劉曉波)—a reading jointly organised by Cha and PEN Hong Kong, on Friday 29 June 2018.]

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