It began as a simple small wish,
After seeing the bloated body
of a long-dead cat at a road crossing;
After the first time we paid off the cops;
After the MRT ran off the tracks;
After too many children grabbed at my empty hands;
After four hours in a government hospital
Where I found out how seriously rape complaints
are treated, which is not at all.
I was once with a woman
Who spoke of nothing but finding happiness
Anywhere but here
And I could almost see
the spires glittering in her eyes.
Try as I might, I could not pull her back
Into the here and now
Only her body was there
The rest of her had gone.
I hoped never to exist that way,
Split into a corpse and a ghost
But this is not the life I want.
I laid my dreaming mind in a basket,
set it afloat on a west- bound river,
and hoped that the rest of me would follow.
When reality is unpalatable,
we build fantasies to feast on.
And as the imaginary feast becomes
ever larger and more elaborate,
real sweetness goes ignored.
I was the sweetness once,
Offered, untouched, untasted
and finally whisked away.
I did not understand then
How she could not see
Why I had to pay
For the bitterness of her past.
If only I could turn this fantasy on and off,
put it aside when I am presented
with something good and true, for once.
My dreams race downriver.
If only they’d fall into your waiting arms,
If only they could be brought back alive.