Henri Nouwen sits beside me on the bus

or at least, i imagine his presence through the
stretch of night, exchanging tender chatter
down the fading highways, where luminescent
yellow and blue take their turns parsing through
the glass, and the water droplets slide across my
hair pressed against their other side. we go past
the colonnades of the business district, shadows
cast over gaggles of cyclists, and the pop and
podcasts leaking from pedestrian earbuds. and
Nouwen speaks between my fingers, directs this
gaze to the momentary assurance of cold fabric,
the foraging for old longings, the grip and release
of seeing the seats vacant around me. and for a
time, he reminds me to form it all into something
to hold, to cherish. then he gets off with me,
steps into the blast of a dewy heat, and we walk
the weary evening home.

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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