Published on Academy of American Poets (

to give the thing a name that belongs to something else

            I whom the dogs trust 
     dog you all night 
                                       under my arm

   so many new years days

                                                      to mark per year
                                    my fingers hurt
                  from stroking the sun

                                these sulky strays 
                           my tongues 
                       my hurts clean 

                                         as an echo 
               rippling through the valley

                      how can I thank them?
                                    where will you be then?


Copyright © 2021 by Hao Guang Tse. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on June 14, 2021, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem

“I wanted to get to the heart of one who has many tribes, many languages, yet feels alone. Or: and therefore feels alone. Loneliness couldn’t be the end of it, though. Hope and absolution had to be offered, even if as questions without answers.”
Hao Guang Tse


Hao Guang Tse

Hao Guang Tse (谢皓光) is the author of The International Left-Hand Calligraphy Association (Tinfish Press, 2022), and Deeds of Light (Math Paper Press, 2015). Hao was born and raised in Singapore, where he continues to live and work.

Date Published: 2021-06-14

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