Cyril Wong: Way Out

30 May 2003

Such is the violence required
to stop the body in its tracks.
Some say the spirit – if it exists – hovers
permanently within a hundred metre radius
of its busted, flesh-and-bone cage.

I hurried over to the huge, once encumbered
bulk of her; eyes shut behind spectacles
that cling to her face, oddly
unbroken. Her leg, jumped free from its socket,
was held in place
by what must be size-40 Levis.

Blood through a rip in the jeans
flood a long, squint-eyed cut across her thigh:
the inside of her large body
peeking out. I imagine her spirit easing
its way out of that wound

to stand there, gazing skywards at how
far she had come in the gasp of two seconds,
debating if this was a mistake,
and if she had only known
that death was false, that consciousness
would draw her back to itself
even after the end, inescapable,
like gravity.

But I prefer to believe that she
is gone, just as Leslie Cheung
is gone; that death
is not a rapid corridor
between one prison and the next;

that the sound she made when the pavement
rose generously to meet her
was not the opposite of a bomb
going off.

 
Cyril Wong is the author of three collections of poetry: Squatting Quietly, The End Of His Orbit and Below: Absence. He lives in Singapore.

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