Ann Ang's poetry, fiction and non-fiction have appeared in Eclectica Magazine,
the Quarterly Literary Review of Singapore (QLRS), Poskod, Kartika Review, The
and elsewhere. Her first collection of short stories, titled Bang My Car
(Math Paper Press, 2012), was launched at the Singapore Writers Festival 2012.
She is a birdwatcher.

Let me buy you an HDB Flat

Love, since you want to live alone,
our marriage is all in vain,
but let me buy you an HDB flat.

O how would the government know
that I love you, and it's still 'no',
since you want to live alone.

I am buying what is for rent—
my life's on sale, your heart to lend.
Let me buy you an HDB flat.

I ballot, wait, but all life's too late.
What can I do except work for pay?
(since you want to live alone).

I'll sell my soul and my burial plot.
That's how I'll go if you'd rather not.
Still, let me buy you an HDB flat.

So my heart will rest, reclaimed land—
another island destroyed for sand.
Love, since you want to live alone,
let me buy you an HDB flat.

Build Them Over

These people who sit alone in parks,
moon-faced, beside longkangs—
without running shoes, not even the excuse
of a dog. They like to think
they have time: hands loose-limbed,
open to those lazy miles of lallang.

Build them over:
those who are useless should stay home.
Others need the land for families
who are safe from the rain behind windows.
Here, you never know when there are mosquitoes.
Dangerous to leave such people alone:
this is how the young grow old.
See this man, stepping on grass?
This woman, sitting,
her stomach in her lap like the earth,
a rubbish cart?

Two Hashbrowns

who is
one third boss,
one third legend,
a third part flint: one
fourth fire. Don't fight her—
only men count parts for wholes.
But she is spirit. Do not fear—
seek her clearance, live wider, know that
her CAPS ARE SHOUTING, that irrational
numbers have rights if you can imagine
a fraction as a new relation.
But she throws you like dice, tosses
you fate and love, gambles on
how we are all human.
She doesn't care. Still
she will feed you
hashbrowns. Save
two for

Valentine for your Hair

Old couples: numlocked
in circles of light: boiled water,
fairprice. The Straits Times
saves lives. Twenty cents from the
karung-guni: so little, he got less.
Five years, then children, then
they paint the flats. Banglas
wash all, a vast drying lake.

But us? Flip your hair:
I'll drink marker ink like air.
Your hand on my face unlimbs me—
a thawing chicken wing. We are tight,
a wallet in the sand's back-pocket.
By the tankered sea, you kiss me:
wire-mesh, old smoke.
Drive me like a car—I am
instant noodles for the salt.
When morning comes, let us
turn off the light with wet hands.

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