There's a rumour in Somerset station; in the dank, unprocessed shimmer of the rails, a monster learns to thrive. She slinks deep through the pipes, pressing dusty kisses on unsuspecting windows.
Under her fingers, infinitely small spots of disuse bloom against the cranial arch of tunnels. Between the lapses in her song, the air froths dark and salty, heaving with an incessant whine.
There, a stain – pepsi or coke – shameless and provocative.
It gets worse. Even though we’re all looking, no one really sees. Her mirthful, coy glance is only an echo of our cluttered chatter and convenient litter.
Sometimes the monster rears her suggestive head. On land, above well-oiled congestion, lies another layer of unkempt humidity. The fog, unsightly and unseen, paws at the cracks in this concrete jungle. It drives me wild; sometimes I feel a calculated urge to tug the stickers off bottles carelessly, or swing doors open with reckless abandon.
I wonder if there’s a method to her madness. Vengeance is hardly as cruel as her undiscriminating ways; metal, nylon, cement, flesh and bone – all victims to her tightly wrung claws.
Perhaps she is only lonely. Scavenging for stories, unravelling every fibre of being for some semblance of company.
Till we are well-spent and bare, waiting for some microscopic intent to build us back again.
Ode to Broken Things is a poem by Pablo Neruda; Somerset station is a train station on the North-South Line in Singapore.