Senior Peer Reviewer
the world is wide enough

Message to Readers

[The second version] Thank you, Ella, for your kind words and thoughtful review. It helped me a lot in creating this second draft!

Just a tad worried about whether the speaker's voice is inconsistent across stanzas :')

I'm (not really) Going Away

April 16, 2017

How many nautical miles 
do I have to traverse
before I can leave behind 
the aftertaste of my city-state?

The inspiration (or desperation)
steeps in grammes of paper and millilitres of ink.
Still, I persist – creating a universe
of countless people and worlds,
doggedly plodding through words and sighs
burning calories and midnight oils.

Every Changi visit promises a familiar sort of thrill
so I have gladly left home 
in my shortest of sleeves, barely functioning 
on the current of adrenaline.
"Ma, I'll call home, I promise."
The signboard still blinks at the fifth turn of my head.
She unwraps the fraying cashmere scarf
bundled around her gentle neck –
just like how she eats dumplings.
My finger dances lightly 
against a red and gleaming gold passport.

"Bring this with you, be good."
​The goosebump-inducing degrees finally quieten
that hammering urge against my heart,
the scent of freedom securely folded away in one ticket.
The air-conditioning blasts me goodbye – 
I'm really going away.
One hundred and twenty-eight gigabytes for storage space
will not be enough there, I know, but then again –
how many square metres of heart room 
do I wish to make, and how many do I keep to here?
Changi Airport is the primary civilian airport for Singapore.

Login or Signup to provide a comment.