A poem by Amy Liou

Can We Talk About It?

You want to talk about my love life,
Who I’m seeing,
Whose eyes have looked into mine,
Which places we have gone and which cars I have been in,
But I don’t want to talk about it.

You want to talk about him,
Or the multiple hims,
The one with brown hair, the one with blonde hair,
The Denmark one, the Chicago one, the Muslim one,
But I don’t want to talk about it.

You want to know how I feel about each one,
Who has treated me right,
Who has been thrown out of the equation,
Who made me first,
Who made me second,
Who made his way into my heart, and who came back out again,
But I can’t tell you — I can’t really talk about it.

For when you talked about how the two of you went to check out a place uptown,
A place downtown,
And how in a few months or so, one person went east and the other went west,
He said,
She said,
I said,
“I’ve heard of things like that, but I’ve never truly had it.”
When you talk about the happy things,
The places you will go together someday,
The pictures you have already taken,
The families that have enlarged in your names,
I also can’t talk about it,
Although, for a moment,

I want to talk about him,
And for a moment,
I feel like I can talk about it,
Until I realize that I can’t,
For one person is flesh while the other person is only in my head.

I want to talk about how I took a rotten bus down to Port Credit and walked to the end of the wooden dock,
I bought a medium latte from the local café Archtop and sat for an hour, debating whether to buy a raspberry cheesecake dessert
or not,
I watched a dozen geese gawk at me, and I gawked back,
I really had nothing else to do,
Took the bus back,
Window shopped to second-love,
And bought five things the next day,
I bought, I bought — I just bought.
I want to talk about what happened when I went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 in theatres with a single ticket,
I looked to my left,
I looked to my right,
I laughed, and I want you to know that it was genuine,
I want you to know that I sometimes wake up in the middle of the night,
And I get this feeling like there is already someone by my side,
I toss,
I turn,
I touch my pillow, stroke its edges and kiss it a good, good rest of the night.

In fact,
I want to talk about the studio that I might live in on my own,
Ten years from now,
I will have a row of plants — but some will grow and some will die,

I will want to clean the plates in the sink — but one or two will always remain,
I will want to pass at least two hours staring at the ceiling,
Wondering if I will be held in someone’s arms,
Or if my arms will grow cold from the lack of body,
Or perhaps,
The lack of war others have waged in my head,
I want to talk about that,
Can we talk about it?
I can talk,
Please — let me tell you all about it.

About the Artist

Amy Liou is a Taiwanese-Canadian author in Mississauga, Ontario. She studied Environment, Resources and Sustainability and International Development at the University of Waterloo before pursuing a teaching degree at Ontario Tech University. Amy’s work has been featured in Bell Let’s Talk Day panels to advocate for better mental health support and in magazine publications, such as the uWaterloo Wat Is Zine. She has performed at several in-person and virtual open mics, including The Junxion, Sauga Poetry and Howl 89.5 FM. Her work has been reviewed locally and internationally in countries like India.

Can We Talk About It? is Amy’s most recent work, now available for purchase on Amazon. It is an anthology of intimate and radical poems about relationships, mental health, 2SLGBTQ+ stories and other social justice issues. It takes you on a journey to explore one’s identity, navigate heartbreak, plunge into escapism, heal the broken heart and provide it with wings to fly and celebrate success stories from the greater community.

Can We Talk About It? is available for purchase on Amazon

This article was written by Amy Liou