Tropical Colony

In time the queen, pregnant with
her own egotism, oviposits
a worm in moist rainforest gut. At once
it begins drinking its host’s
strangeness, swelling with native blood.

by tropical air, the fetus develops
a foreign tumescence, organs gnawed clean
by the larva which expels
hunger into its veins.

Long after it has excised itself the orphaned host
sluggishly slurs the language of its
parasite: its tongue
will never be its own, shaped instead
in the body-plan of another.

Springwood Height, Singapore

Their genealogies are manifold: there is no record of where
they were sewn, or sutured, as with a wound.

Dismember their home as they may, they eat from
the same tarnished pot, the same boiled grain and though
they may spit and rinse the taste from their mouths afterwards
they return to the pot, and it reminds them that they share their seed.

I do not think they severed their own roots
merely lost them mid-transplant: trees and rivers
do not bear the names of raindrops that fed them.

They are afraid to admit
that when they open their mouths to speak, they hear
their siblings’ voices. And this is not a theft but a becoming
as grasses become each other, as rains become each other
seeping into foreign soil and calling it their own.

Love is deciduous

Meeting you the first time was like
burrowing fingers into fragrant soil after rain
to find earthworms, curled up like springs and summers
in the notches in the feet of trees.
And in some vernal ways too it was like
the sun glowing through green cocoons above
the swing, revealing maps of veins
and corpses melting to nectar
soon to be stitched and unfolded as butterflies.

But passion like all flowers greys too soon and when
we began shrivelling into gnarly things we started
to understand that you were a rhyme short of a childhood
and I was the tattered rind left by the calling birds
when they’d finished the fruit.

I cannot put a name to it—love, or regret—
which, like the twining branches, become a little more
indistinguishable with every turn of the light
as their boundaries knit into each other’s

It leaves but a crumbling aftertaste—
or a wish for one—
of a vestige of sunlight in this winter ache
and of earth-dwelling creatures
entombed in frost before
they knew
to flee.

Radio: star-crossed

We first heard the humming of the cosmic
microwave background when we hung
satellites in our ionosphere and recorded
by accident the conspirational whisper
of radiowave noise

–a love letter
from the faraway galaxies that we
exalted in our flickering screens, like
schoolchildren pledging romance–

that radiometric anomaly
is the sigh of a lover finally acknowledged

Radio: dead air

silence is white
as smoke exhaled
or the whisper of shadows
under trees

the orchestrated nothing
of smooth mossy stones
between empty skyscrapers
under trees

it is as if
a dandelion of voices
felt the breath of giants
and melted
in the blue of void

into the canyons
of dreamtime
under trees

Cosmos Breathing


through certain lenses,
the perfect isotropy of the universe suggests
that if you kept very
very quiet
you might hear
the harmonics
of a rain drop
in the thundercrash of a collapsing star.


You are the universes’ dark eyes
expressing themselves in flesh and fire.

Is it not plain to see
you are the many-armed goddess
you scream to be?

Galaxies threaded on your fingers—
crepe-mobile worlds papering
the ceiling of your existential expanse—

You are all that
and all that
is traffic
between your cranial stars.

romanticism is well and good but

they were wrong:
we are not stardust. We are
fact, pieced together over
millennia, we are
solipsistic nightmare
photographic evidence
on billions of retinas and we are not
stardust. We are thought
and sensation, developed,