[…]


Gaston Ng

Two Poems


Handphone


i.
fatimah remembered
feeling it vibrate,
and peering through her tinted,
tortoiseshell glasses
at the number,
but more importantly
at the identity:

she recalls wondering why
he sent her an sms,
when he could have saved 5 cents
calling from the office –
“i want divose. send u
lawyar’s lettr soon. tell boy
i go johor for bisnes. dun call me.”

ii.
jason takes a deep breath
and taps the button to
‘create new message’.

“don’t worry dear, i’m fine.
🙂 *hugssssssss!*
go sleep soon k?”
send?

sent.

he stares inaccurately at where
he estimates the screen to be,
unable to establish the positions
of contours
that form its border.

he is crying.

soon the phone jumps, not
vibrating, but jason is –
he shakes like an earthquake

and yet she is probably smiling
at that sms.
relieved; but too careless
to call; confirm.

handphones are stoicism.
who will know what the heart says
when the translation is lost to the fingers.

the more smses sent
the less of a heart’s dialect
we know.

iii.
no matter how hard i try to save
special messages, they always
disappear.

“delete all” buttons are too close to
other options.

iv.
this part of the poem is to remind you
never to place the messages in your inbox

but in a corner of your memory,

safe from negligent fingers.


Driving The Body

At Chinablack, we celebrated
His birthday. I got him drunk.
Sitting beside him,
Two boys on still swings,
Two old men by the sea.

In his stupor he sent a message:
“No i notdrunk i really love you
y dun you love me bak.”
I offered to correct his spelling.

He shifted his position a little
Away from me.

The other old man gets up
From the pier, leaves.
I sit quietly in a confusion of dancing,

Wondering if this is what we do
On birthdays, occupying absence
With everybody else–
Relying on drink
As means to confession.

Words can be free-
Of-charge. You may love anonymously
In the dark, driving the body
With a naked heart;

Reckless, drunk-loving.

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