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A Trip to the Peak District

Updated: Nov 26, 2023

A rundown pub tucked in a sleeping village,

A Sunday roast served on a cloudy day,

A pint gargled down the throat.

I was becoming English with every drop

of ale I drank.

A few odd looks thrown in this way.

You frowned at me.

For you I’m a stranger, an outsider,

a student, a tourist,

a foreigner, a migrant.

Your kind smile I don’t deserve.

Chink, you clenched your teeth:

Go back to your country!

My country? I asked myself.

I have no country.

A queer migrant has no country.

But there was no time to ponder.

Grabbing my bag, I ran

as fast as I could.

The rambling country road

led nowhere near home.

by Hongwei Bao

Hongwei Bao (he/him) grew up in China and lives in Nottingham, UK. He uses short stories, poems, reviews and essays to explore queer desire, Asian identity, diasporic positionality and transcultural intimacy. His creative work has appeared in Allegory Ridge, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Messy Misfits Club, Shanghai Literary Review, The AutoEthnographer, The Hooghly Review, The Ponder Review, The Sociological Review Magazine, the other side of hope, The Voice & Verse and Write On. His flash fiction ‘A Postcard from Berlin’ won the second prize for the Plaza Prize for Microfiction in 2023.


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