XCIV | Yellow

I don’t remember
who calls the police or the ambulance

but they come
after I’ve been
on my knees,

hands soaked
in his blood
for a while.

Sirens cry,

blue and red lights,
white sheets,
a beeping machine,
gloved hands,
manicured voices.

I’m led down
a pastel yellow hallway
that smells like


but no matter
how they wash,

I can still taste
metallic blood
in my mouth,

I can still smell it
on my hands.

I want to stay
next to Ming

but they don’t let me.

Before they
push me
out of the way,

I see the horizontal green line
and the zeros

then a beige door
in front of my nose.

The blanket
they put
over my shoulders


and I don’t
pick it back up.

I just replay

Ming falling
twenty-four storeys
from our HDB flat,

like a raw egg

over and over.

My mind
is a broken recorder.

There is no sound.
There was no warning.

I tell the officers
who questioned me.

I show them

the tissue parachutes
crushed in my hands,

the tissue paper
soaked with blood.

They poke and prod
the bloodied papers
tied at the ends,

open it,
read it,

and hand it to me

neatly unfurled
in a labelled evidence bag.

I can’t read this.
I try to tell them

but I don’t think

the words come out.

There’s footsteps,
a familiar breathing sound,

a hand that removes
the bloodied papers
from my hand.

Rowan reads it for me.

I won’t read it.
I won’t ever read it.

You didn’t give me
a chance
to say anything,

you didn’t talk to me
face to face.

Whatever you have to say now,

I don’t want to know
what it is
for the rest of eternity.

You traitor.

Rowan gives the suicide note
back to the police.

After some more questions,
another examination
by a doctor,

I’m led by the hand,

through the pastel yellow

with the scented sanitiser.




The front doors
of the hospital
slide open,

revealing a yellow pavement
flanked by trees.

In the distance,

there’s a rhythmic
swearing of a broom

like the ticking
of a clock.

Rowan walks me in circles,
or maybe

we walk all around
the yellow park—

it all looks
the same
to me.

I don’t know

how long it is
that we walk

but eventually,
our feet slow
to an inevitable


in front of
an open field,

a rowan tree.

Someone’s there
playing soccer.

I don’t recognise
the person

but Rowan calls out to him,

The sound of a ball
being kicked,

the sound of a ball
rolling helplessly,

the sound of a ball
stopped by a foot.

He’s wearing
the same jersey
          as the day of the picnic.

The same knee-high socks.

I tell him that.

‘You’re better now,
‘if you noticed that,’
Rowan says.

I stare at her
for a while

then look down
at her hand
in mine.

I let go
but she clings on.

So I pull her close
and lean my forehead
on her shoulder.

‘I should have told him
‘about the rowan tree.’

She rubs small circles
on the back of my hand
with her thumb.

‘I shouldn’t have yelled at him
‘that day.’

She lets go
of my hand now

and it hangs
by my side.

Swinging a little.

She wraps her arms
around my neck.

My vision

It’s full of yellow pavements.

‘It’s not his fault.
‘Using me
‘wasn’t his fault.
‘Why did I–’

I look ugly when I cry.

Perhaps that’s why
I don’t do it anymore

—no matter what.

But Rowan clings on to me
like a koala
the whole time.

I’m wailing.

Adam too,

one foot
on his soccer ball,

pats my back
to the same rhythm
of the cleaner
sweeping the park.

When my vision clears,

the sun has set
and the stars
are coming out.

They’re as bright as I remember
from the day we broke up.

‘Play with me,’
Adam says,

bouncing his soccer ball
on his knee.

with my heart
numb from sadness,

the heavenly lights
look kinda





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