friendship

if you can sit together and witness the beauty
of a tree, moss snaking through wooden crevice,

or the way that sunlight makes the seafoam ooze
against a bed of sand before vanishing in a wisp,

if you can sit and hold a lacquered mug
as you would a familiar hand, mint tea warm in

both palms, or catch how a flickering candle
bends its glow around every face, as the humid

rush of midnight makes chatter of freeways,
if you can feel the sacred ground extend across

the ripple of oceans and rustle of forests, and
if you can learn to sit, holding precious ease,

vivacious in welcomed silence, therein
will you find clarity for a beleaguered heart,

dancing in the sweetness
of memory.

Jonathan Chan is a writer, editor, and graduate of the University of Cambridge. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore, where he is presently based. He is interested in questions of faith, identity, and creative expression. He has recently been moved by the writing of Tse Hao Guang, Rodrigo Dela Peña Jr., and Balli Kaur Jaswal.

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