LIX | Sunset

I don’t have

but I go to school
to study.

I come through
the back gate

like I usually do
when I’m

Force of habit.

The rowan tree
looks lifeless
without her there,

sitting beneath it
with a book in hand.

I study,

my phone beeping
with messages

from Rowan.

Where are you?
Want to study together?

An interesting thought
that crossed her mind
last night

about the meaning of life.

The heart and the mind,
why do we need both?

Why are they compatible?

I never
used to
care about.

I let my phone light up

and fade away
when it’s tired of waiting for me.

I do read
her endless messages
when i’m bored

but I have
nothing to say

in return.

I think of the expressions
only I know

and wonder why
I wanted to see them.




It’s evening

when I pull my earphones
from my ears.

My brain is numb.

Rowan has
stopped texting

and I didn’t
realise it.

Since noon.

(Ah, i forgot to eat
—no wonder i’m hungry.)

I lose my appetite,
leaving the canteen

the same way I came in.

Under the rowan tree

is (not Rowan)

‘Rowan’s not here, Eeyore.’

The donkey’s ears twitch.
‘I know.
‘It’s you I want to meet.’

I turn to leave.

I’m the only one
who can see this creature
so if I ignore it,

no one will think it’s strange.

‘There’s no one here,’ it says.

The crickets sing

but the rowan tree
is silent like the dead.

It’s dark.

The streetlights are
not working again.

‘What do you want?’

I fold my arms,
refusing to step off the path
to stand

under the rowan tree.

‘You were shown the truth
‘but you twisted it.’

I raise my chin.

‘if the truth can be moved so easily,
‘then it’s not true at all, is it?’

The donkey nods.

‘You are right,
‘The truth is infallible.

‘But Rowan is not.
‘Why are you leading her on?’

‘What the #*%&?’

the one
who wanted to date me
on her own.

‘Rowan’s human.
‘Jesus is the truth.’

She is merely a witness.

‘It’s good that she’s now doubting
‘that religious crap.’

‘So why do you think
‘there’s something

‘wrong with her now?’

Blood dripping from her eyes,
the way she always looks like
          she’s been crying,
the coldness of her lips when we kiss.

The anti-climax.

‘It’s not my fault.’

I didn’t force her to do anything.

She’s the one
who kissed me
on her own.

The donkey nods again.

‘She has to take responsibility too.
‘but you are not faultless.’


I’m sitting alone,

at the park bench
where I hang out with my friends.

The trees
are silhouettes now

but harsh orange streaks
cut through
the black and grey sky.

The crickets sing a Michael Jackson song.

Heal the world,
Make it a better place…

There is no more sun,
it’s past the time for it to set.

It’s gone down the horizon already.

We all know it
but we never see it.

(Singapore has no


Soon, the sky
looks like
a marble plate

that’s shattered to pieces
on the ground.

I don’t want

to think about
what the winged donkey


You have a choice.
You’ll always have a choice.

We are going to take Rowan
back to the real world.

Once she goes,

you’ll lose her
like you lost Ria.

So I’m here to tell you

that you can choose
to follow her back.

‘Why are you taking Rowan back
‘even though she chose to come here
‘on her own?’

Jesus said
I give them eternal life,
and they shall never perish;

no one will snatch them
out of my hand.

‘What does that mean?’

She doesn’t want to return,
but she belongs to me.

So, I will protect her from you.




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