Chai Latte

for Lent

“Why do birds suddenly appear
every time you are near?
Just like me, they long to be
close to you.”
– Carpenters

Barren terraces peek out from
behind light filtering through
windows. Mirrored solace and
once-verdurous neighbours,
whence winter’s conspiracy
delicately escapes. Unlid
contrapuntal delight, side-to-
side salsa repartees in cold
afternoon sun unravelling
into days; we exist only in this
liminality. Scattered papers
heaping in labour brush
sandpaper to the touch.

If not now, tomorrow.
If not scattered thought,
tongue-tied concerto. In
harmony, lines fly askew;
stripped threadbare, like
entrepot trade transacting
in shards of life. My kettle
for your light bulb, milk
for solid food instead.

Divested of banality, tenderness
is insanity. Cocooned in silence,
who can tell what oceans the
mind crosses in this freefall
movement? Tomorrow I will
swallow these words again,
arrange them next to the tea
leaves and hydrangeas, beside
scattered bags and wilted roses.
Here is my sonnet for solitude,
almost a limerick for love.

This is a reprint of work originally published in the online version of the Creative Arts Programme 30 Years Commemorative Publication.

Christian Yeo is a final-year law undergraduate at the University of Cambridge. His work can also be found in 698’s Redefinitions, Ethos Books’ This Is Not A Safety Barrier, the jfa human rights journal, and the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (forthcoming).

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