prayer (ix)

how the eyelids begin to
tremble, to see the break

between what is and what
should be, eyes glazed over

every phrase, twisting, curved
as a knife – the glimpses of blue

light in lonely flats, the bags
zipped and stacked, troughs

obscene with depth, the murk
rising from toe to waist – and

the pangs, here, of every greater
comfort, how mercy demands

diversion, to look aside with
intent, to set it all before a

dreary altar, to learn to sit
and bear another, to wait

upon the slow binding of
our wounds.

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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