houston living room

Jonathan Chan

c. 2017

scrolls unfurl and figures stand
by trees on bas-reliefs, hung

in parallel between family portraits.
below: photos of grandchildren,

scattered, tracing past
youth. the angklung sits beside

the piano. temple figurines are
perched by pastel memories

of Mah Mah and her children.
inky brushstrokes of bull and horse

adorn rice parchment. faces beam
in university gowns. vases, with courtly,

imperial scenes painted on them rest
beside a ceramic horse. the agong honours

through ceremony, a decoration on
Yeh Yeh’s chest, ahli mangku negara.

a water-colour rooster hangs beside
his portrait. he is remembered

like a stoic painting. it looms over
his organ, static from years

untouched, nesting nutcracker

and country hymnal. beside

is the flash of a peacock, a stork,
stacks of cassettes, the silhouette

of porcelain dolls. they vanish in the

drone of Mah Mah’s

polyphonous television.