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 a single 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.