5. Darkest Hour
by Aiden Heung

For a grandmother

The spirit of old times comes

at 4pm,


with the voice of a doctor

demanding a black signature

and a blood-red finger print.

The paper he brings,

white like a conjuring flag,

written full

of medical terms,

A verdict,



but to us who survived her,

every statement reeks

of pedantry.

and every offer of condolence,



The darkest hour is full of the afternoon sun;

Praeter Spem,

no myth involved,

no explanations,

just a bed unmade,

a body clad in black,

nothing more.


We’ll learn to live on,

a little less than we are used to


Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 21, Issue 3.

Aiden Heung is a prize-winning poet born and raised on the edge of the Tibetan Plateau. He holds an MA in literature from Tongji University in Shanghai, the city he calls home. His poems have been published or are forthcoming in numerous online and offline magazines including Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Literary Shanghai, Proverse Anthology, The Shanghai Literary Review, New English Review, The Bangalore Review, Esthetic Apostle, Mekong Review, among many other places. He can be found on twitter @AidenHeung or www.aiden-heung.com

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