denial

eyes pried, thick
before daylight, washed
of residue, cautious of
the shrouded silhouette
in the bathroom
mirror: steps for today.
swallow the embers and
smoothen the tongue. play
as the players as audience
is one. loosen the tendrils
that creep each day,
quieten the storm, the
silent array. starve the
voracious, the yearning
that pines, don’t forget
to straighten your tie.
follow the steps, don’t
drop your guard lest
the maimed ask why
with their eyes.
we are not better than this
we are better for this

Jonathan B. Chan is an undergraduate at the University of Cambridge reading English. Born to a Malaysian father and Korean mother in the United States, Jonathan was raised in Singapore and sees his cultural tapestry manifest in his writing. He has recently been moved by the writing of Marilynne Robinson, Joan Didion, and Shūsaku Endō. His mind is preoccupied with questions of theology, love, and human expression.

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