I once saw a black beetle sucking nectar
out of hyacinth: its beady eyes rolling,
its gleaming back two blades of wings.
Its bristled arms clung onto the bloom,
its violence sending the dense clump
oscillating. I want to be a flower, to
exact a desire so luscious and tender.
I once lay in a place so still I could
hear nothing but my own movements.
There was a dim light through the wall
and shadows, shapeshifters, things
that snuck out at you in the dark
without noise. I do not know how to
describe them but they were my hands.
Crawling on fours, soft in my joints,
gurgle and slur, baby talk until you
touch me—my skin blank to the
hyacinth’s fragrance, the dull throb
beneath its exclamation. Time falls
like a cradle through the trees, augur
to the ripening of self, an opening.
Faye Ng Yu Ci resides in Singapore, putting frames of light into photographs and verse. Her poems have appeared in Raven Chronicles, Bookends Review, and Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.