lament

why do groans not form in sentences? the wetness, red,
curves by drooping eyelids, at the edge of tiny windows.
prayers catch in the throat, droplets keep to themselves,

faces, lined by tubes and tightened paper, are seen only
in snatches. language offers a loose embrace. the slow
work of the tele-chaplain, watching, waiting, in social

distance: the scene relayed as disembodied voice. where
does God hide when the breath is absent? when the hand
shudders and the phone howls and the masks begin to tear?

he groans. he only groans.

Jonathan B. Chan is a student at the University of Cambridge. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore. He is preoccupied with questions relating to faith, prayer, and identity. He has recently been moved by the writing of Frank O’Hara, Li-Young Lee, and Charles Olson.

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