CI | Incognito

It’s Sunday

but I’m not in the mood
to go to church.

So even though
Mr. Ahmad tries to lick my feet
and steps all over my face,

I text Rowan

that I’m not going
and go back to sleep.

When I wake up,
the cat’s right next to my head.

Fur all puffed out,
glassy green eyes glowing.

‘Buy ingredients for hotpot
‘and cook it right now.’


I pull on some jeans,
find my wallet
and leave the house,

muttering curses
under my breath.




I usually buy food

so I have to google
hotpot ingredients.

I even don’t know
if we have a pot for hotpot.

Stupid cat.

Just because I don’t wanna
wake up for church.

Is that a crime?

Some days I don’t
go to school either.

What’s wrong with that?

I stick random things
in a basket.

Looking around
the supermarket
isn’t so bad.

I suppose it’s fine
to come
once in a while.

I pick up a random pack of carrots

and realise
that the man examining
the price of turnips
next to me

has a gun
tucked in the back of his pants.

He’s definitely

a policeman.

He’s got hair dyed red,
ear piercings dripping off his ears,
a leather jacket,
colourful canvas boots.

That’s not acceptable attire
for police in Singapore…

Have times changed yet?
I check my phone.

No they haven’t.

It’s still Sunday
and I have
4 unread messages from Rowan.

I find an auntie sticking stickers
on watermelons
and tell her about the man.

She looks up at me
over her crystal spectacles,

then continues
sticking stickers
on watermelons.

Wrong person?

I find a man, striding purposefully
towards the row with toilet paper.

I stop him
and tell him about the man.

He glances down at his clipboard,
then longingly at the toilet paper.

‘He’s a policeman
‘so it’s okay,’
he assures me with a big smile.

Flipping the paper in his hands,
he leans closer.

‘Plainclothes police, you know, eh boy?’

I let him go
the prices of toilet paper.

That’s right,

I shouldn’t judge people
by their appearance.

It’s the 21st century.

don’t mean
anything anymore.

I bump into the red-haired man
at the cashier again.

He’s got nothing
in his hands
(not even a basket)

but he’s queuing up,
asking the ah-ma in front of him

about the strange thing
she said she found
in the fruits section.

I shouldn’t
pick up Rowan’s bad habit

of poking my nose
into other people’s business.

Good intentions
are no good after all.




I set my basket

on the counter in front of the cashier
when a shout erupts behind me.

I turn
and see a man,

in proper police uniform,

shouting at one of the staff.

The woman’s face
has turned white.

A random man
pulls her away
and yells back at the policeman.

He pulls out his gun
and shoots at the shelf of Nutella
beside him.

Some people scream,

there’s more shouting,
more yelling
(and some cursing).

Someone tackles
the policeman

and he threatens to shoot

The red-haired man in the leather jacket

taking big strides
towards the commotion.

He pulls out his gun
from the back pocket
of his ripped jeans

and points it

at the policeman’s forehead.

The policeman also
points his gun
at the red-haired dude’s face.

People around fall silent.

Peace is

There’s the sound of
heavy breathing,

background music,

cashiers scanning goods,
and the sound of cameras clicking.

Some aunties
are a little slow
on the uptake,

but they also
put down their grocery baskets

and fumble around
for their phones

to take a picture.




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