POETRY

Word

By

There’s the word for “heat”,
not the actual temperature rising.
Without real names, what’s left
of us in a configuration
of bodies? With your legs
hovering over my shoulders,
we make a deformed tarantula.
Then when sex concludes,
pronouns reassert themselves
to carve out separateness,
pushing us along grooves
of lives that turn in widening
circles around each other.
Sitting alone again in a bedroom
that has gone suddenly “cold”
from rain crashing outside, I try
to divide text from meaning.
There’s the word for “alone”,
not the ache and the hunger.
For as long as this endures,
weather is just weather;
there’s neither heat nor cold;
and I’m no longer missing you.

Cyril Wong (1977) is the author of nine collections of poetry in Singapore. Internationally, his poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Fulcrum, Cider Press Review and Asheville Poetry Review. He received the Singapore Literature Prize in his country and has been a featured poet at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and the Hong Kong International Literary Festival; and is the founder of SOFTBLOW, an online international poetry journal.His Still Flight (2005) was first staged as a one-woman monologue in English.

Then when sex concludes,
pronouns reassert themselves
to carve out separateness,
pushing us along grooves
of lives that turn in widening
circles around each other.