追 (Pursuit)

My Chinese teacher once taught me
that pursuit starts with a dot breaking
the surface, then an upward slash
to the right; the sail must be erect
before the remaining strokes can appear,
junk-shaped, to chase white waters.
When she wrapped my hand in hers I saw
only unyielding sequence in penmanship,
how my pen could only write my life
forwards, not backwards. Now older,
pursuit looks more like a butterfly
searching for its other wing – what
my Chinese teacher did not say
is that we also finish each sentence
with a dot, except that it winds back
to itself, the point of departure
almost touching the point of return。

Loh Guan Liang is the author of the poetry collection Transparent Strangers (Math Paper Press, 2012). His works have appeared in various journals, including Black Heart Magazine, Crack the Spine, Kin Poetry Journal, Mascara Literary Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. Guan Liang currently lives in Singapore.

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