his name was Edward
don’t know his Hokkien name
(guess we weren’t as close as I recollect)
inai-tinted bouquet for hair
bahulu lips  
sago seed eyes
and the kind of dick that tapered to a jambu head

Bukit Bintang motel nights
latticed by flimsy partitions
back-break-hoisting saggy ceilings.
RM25 sejam, an hour
to weave our dreamscape 
in between mat rempit buzzing 
and sheesha lounge music
dank mattress as foundation
straining under the baggage of
the city’s
and cockroach shit

hardly flinches to
my gasp-cried ‘Ed-wud!’ 
two syllables stashed 
under the cover of streetracer skids
and police sirens
in spaces he would never be uttered again

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Hazim Ismail

Hazim Ismail (dia/theythem) is a Bugis-Malay, Chinese queer nonbinary former refugee with an MA Anthropology and Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies. They currently serve on the Planned Parenthood Toronto board and Maggie’s Toronto Sex Workers’ Action Project board of directors. They love birdwatching and despise ecological degradation. \\ Instagram: @browngaysian