I | Kiss

is an annoying day.




I just started

          junior college
but there’s extra class until 7pm?

We haven’t
learnt anything.
It’s a pain.


I just started

          dating this girl
but she’s already texting me every day?

I don’t even really like her.
What a pain.


The weather’s so hot.



It’s so stuffy.




‘That’s all-‘
I heard before I left.
                   ‘-for today. You’re dismissed. See you tomorrow, don’t forget…’
They follow me like baby ducks
—my friends.


‘Man… School is hell.’

‘If I see another equation, I’ll #*%& it.’

I snort: ‘Liar math geek.’
Pushed him aside.

He laughs.
Slammed into me.
(Knocks me off the path.)

‘Aeh! Let’s play soccer.’

‘Gotta go home. Dinner.’

‘The others?’

‘Mummy’s boy.’

‘Shut up.’

I open my mouth: (‘Let’s do it.’)

That’s her voice.


‘#%*& lah.’

‘Your parasite is here.’



She: You didn’t reply my text.
Me: Which one?
She: All of them!
Me: I was in class.

She grabs my arm.

‘Anyway! Eat dinner with me.’


Even those with CCA were leaving school.


I can see the crowd
streaming through the back gate

next to the rowan tree.

Ria must have waited for me.


I only started dating her
so the other girls
          would stop asking.
Bad mistake.

I picked her because she was caring.


Too caring.

So stuffy…


Today is a bad day
—we’ve dated long enough.



I’m not really interested in you, loser.

She is saying something.

My friends are ahead,
outside the gate (waiting/laughing).

Orange rowan leaves fall

like my mood

and i see

under the rowan tree.




Black hair (it’s not tied up).
A red skirt (our uniform’s beige).
Reading (a Bible?).


I know most of the girls by sight.
(For some reason they keep introducing themselves to me.)

I don’t know her.


‘Clyde! Did you hear what i said?’




Ria’s nails, painted illegal pink,
dig into my skin.


I grab the strange girl.

Pulled her up.

The book slides from her white fingers
—tumbles over a tree root.

I kiss her
in front of my girlfriend.

There is a gasp

(not sure whose).


Her lips are soft,
like marshmallow,

teeth parted in surprise.

But that’s not
the point.


I think I imagined it but

the rowan tree begins to whisper
in a language I don’t know.




Ria’s grip on my arm



A choked voice curses me.

Footsteps fade.

I can only see the Bible
hit the grass and open
to a page with a golden heading:




I am thrust backward,
looking into angry black eyes.

‘What are you doing?’


Her black hair flashes over her face
as she backs away from me.


The world tilts

and she runs away.




She isn’t that strong.
I’m sure of it.

But I’m falling onto the ground?

(Arrghh, so embarrassing!)
I stand up immediately.

I am still there,
under the rowan tree.

But the school gate is gone.


The whole school is gone.


All of Singapore is gone.




I am halfway up a mountain

looking down
at a golden city



A donkey stands next to me
wings folded by its side,


It turns to me

with a realistic expression

and speaks,
a low voice,

‘i’ve been waiting for you.’




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