hunger

in the morning you learn to dance again
and nothing is wrong. bite hard and swallow
when you see food, remember how smiles are
too wide for comfort. everything is in place

and nothing is wrong. bite hard and swallow
while people eat you alive. sliding doors open
too wide for comfort, everything is in place
when words scatter. quickly remember your steps

while people eat you alive. sliding doors open
every second, locking warm bodies within rooms
when words scatter quickly. remember your steps
that refused to work. nothing is wrong with

every second locking warm bodies within rooms
before each inevitable breakdown. recall plans
that refused to work. nothing is wrong, with
the passing minutes inching closer to home

before each inevitable breakdown. recall plans
to shower again before going to bed. you check
the passing minutes, inching closer to home
as windows open to wildfire. wait, then go

to shower again. before going to bed, you check
light switches, with hands primed to remain
as windows, open to wildfire. wait. then go
if everything is in place. please remember your

light, switches with hands, primed to remain
should you forget to breathe. let yourself rest.
if everything is in place, please remember your
temporary face masks, which expire overnight

should you forget. to breathe, let yourself rest
when you see food. remember how smiles are
temporary face masks which expire overnight.
in the morning, you learn to dance again.

Nicholas Quek is an undergraduate from NUS with a strange love for music, poetry, and the moments between breaths.

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