Once upon a time we were ignorant
of tear gas inside MTR stations
and in fact, of tear gas.
We marched on planned routes
and the next day, returned to work,
school, and naïvely conceived normality.
Now it is no longer possible
to feign innocence: Blood
of protesters shed on the streets,
thick and clearly witnessed.
The flaws that make our society now
are the flaws of tyrants.
Fearful but defiant trapped birds,
we are in a deadlocked situation,
but still tuned to the tone
of freedom, dreaming of breathing
free, sighting streets of regular traffic,
each others’ faces.