Hong Kong

By Hiram Goza

I wanted to

make a list

so I would know

what to do


because I knew

I should want

to be doing



but I didn’t know

what it was


I should want

to be doing.


I thought

I needed purpose.

What was my purpose?


I had to

come up with

some kind of purpose.


I thought if I

had everything

spelled out in

a list I would know


what it was I

should be doing

every day.


Because I didn’t

know what to do

every day, I worked out,

lifted weights, stretched,

did aerobics, jogged.


When I got through with that,

I came home and didn’t know

what to do, so I did the crossword

in the newspaper.


Then it hit me.

Make a list.

Make another list.


What do birds do—

and wild animals?


List: Get food, socialize,

rest, avoid predators,

so on.


Those were the run-of-the-

mill things everybody

had to do.


What I needed was

the kind of list that

would give me purpose

and variety.


What if I had to

go to China? I thought.

What if I had to visit

Hong Kong?


I knew I couldn’t

go to Hong Kong

without a purpose.


I would have to

have a purpose

in going to Hong Kong.


I would have to make

a list of things to

accomplish while I

was in Hong Kong


or there wouldn’t be

any sense in going there


or anyplace else.


I watched the

sunset and thought

about the list

I would make.


The sky was turning

pink and lavender

and I thought

about the sheet


of paper I would

write my list on.

The pink and lavender sky

was behind some bare

pecan trees


and I was thinking

about the lined, off-white paper

I would use to

make my list.


I would use my ball-

point with the

medium tip.


Hiram Goza‘s work has appeared in a wide variety of literary magazines, including Blip Magazine and Many Mountains Moving. Her first novel, Birds of Paradise, was published in 2005. She is finishing her second novel and has completed a book of poetry.

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