head / ache

(after Linda Pastan’s ‘MRI’1)

the message beams back in a foreign
language: spacecrafts dissolved by
astronauts, their glowing remains
enclosing a black hole. mission
control predicts a comet pulled
from orbit, its ruin sealed in
stereotactic snips. the body
electric, mired in pain, now
with cannons primed to burn

the messenger: lost breath caught in
long pauses, reason rendered into
rhyme. distress stirs a quiet gaze
as stardust falls. the silence of
hands, cupped in liminal space.

1The base text used is the poem ‘MRI’ by Linda Pastan. The fourteen found words are as follows: back, spacecraft, astronaut, mission, comet, ruin, body, now, cannons, lost, long, quiet, silence, space.

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

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