by | January 5, 2023

i.         The Louvre, Paris

and we are gilded spires
opaque pearlescent rounds
smooth skimmed surfaces
you could hold
under your tongue
set into a crown and call

a feeling of falling mid-breath,
a hazy periphery and a spotlight.
we are tilting, scintillating in light
slowed in mind’s eye mid-swivel
bathed in glass.

every cheekbone’s chisel
crags sanded shaved
cut down into being
more than stone, little less than feeling
they can only imagine how skin feels like
carved out of marble, textured by time
and maybe one day we will be brought to life

amidst walls and blurbs
a tourist’s slowed step.
meaning, ever evasive, returns.

and we are lions, blue.
half a javelin. a claw lodged into flesh.
a florentine glaze. kept cool in the midday heat
almost waiting to be cut and placed
in a neck-hollow’s warmth.

this sand in your hands is yours.
one day they will hold with tweezers
fragments of the things you have forgotten
pick apart a ring, a tile, your mother’s necklace.
inhale! you live yet.
it will forever be yours in their voice.

ii.         Pioneer Station, Singapore

and we are skimming cracks in the pavement running waving all the while heads down as though to say: there is nothing to see here. this city breathes another day and we ricochet back into rhythm. the meaning we choose to avoid in another chair at another table another bus another stranger it does not make sense to think any more or any less than we do. all the while on the brink of clinging to a street lamp and screaming to the world that we know not what it is we do. how are we alive? how are our hearts ticking on this fragile time-scale, waiting to explode but not yet and yet we say yet another day is known. in this second of certainty the road glimmers. maybe we inhabit a burning star and maybe this everything is really nothing at all but maybe nothing really matters at all and maybe until the very end there will be you and me and always, always, these headlights in this dark night. ∎

Words by Faith Leong. Art by Evelyn Homewood.