The Art of Disappearing

Every year, you took grandma’s funeral gown
and thinned its silhouette in the sun, counting
the stroke of the years.

Who knows where your Girl or Boys
will end up tomorrow. Even the old cinema
has been scrapped, and shophouses
parted for en bloc sale.

Only you remember the mid-autumn night
where the procession of Father’s lanterns,
frog, dogs, fish, sailed away on moonlight

thick as black silk. Yearning in the tumbling fog,
you cycle up that renamed hill.
The contours of beds and blankets remain,
triadic of the wet grass, roof and shade.
But you. You lie at odd angles with these colours;
the starlings do not have your name,
and the clouds go on, impervious to weeping.

Though I wish not to, I too may forget:
the exact curvature of the wall,
the arc of your aging wrist,
your starlit voice as we skipped the path.

But I do not need to know what I won’t.
I know I will remember holding your hand
under the dark branches of this magnolia.

The light of this moment
embroidered into the teal;
light which will come again
and again before my eyes.

Ho Ren Chun is a Singaporean-born writer and future lawyer based in London. He has published with Ethos, Acumen, Footnotes and The Cambridge Pamphlet, in anthologies like A Luxury We cannot Afford (2014) and Poetry Moves (2020), and received the Cambridge Brewer Hall Poetry Prize (2017). Ren Chun was also the founder of the Cambridge University Poetry and Prose Society, the first university-wide literary society.

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