WEI FEN LEE


Wei Fen Lee is the editor of Ceriph, a literary journal based in
Singapore, published by Math Paper Press. Her work has appeared
in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Nether Magazine, and Open
Magazine
. She currently commutes between South Asia and
Singapore whilst running twntysmthg.sg, a general interest
magazine based in Southeast Asia.






Dirty Laundry

1. 1992

gujarat burning
on a screen near me
bruise marks on her breasts


2. Roadkill

sadness
is an accident
a car spinning into a tree


3. Dryclean

your face fades like a kimono
stone-dried, a gentle
crease released








Orientation

today the earth warms with war
rubs its hands together
along fault lines
derailing borders. your

elbows are sharp
from smoothening maps,

dalrymple cartography a
tail you caught and hung on to-
it never noticed your ascent
or your arm-army of freckles
ripe for harnessing as grappling hooks,
maybe a hansel-trail;
but none line your face.

rhyme runs in
the family then
forms a semicircle around
the capitals you will visit,
charm-framed and water resistant.

as naked feet

take direction from
devanagari
a compass pointing straight
in northwest stroke

the way out flies
fluid, away








Precipitation Play

"Tragedy struck during the very first spell of
heavy rains this monsoon with nine people dying..."
-Times of India, Jun. 16, 2010

"Some good news for the water-starved city. Water
levels in the six lakes that supply water to
Mumbai are gradually improving due to heavy rain
in the catchments..." -Hindustan Times, Jun. 16, 2010


Today
the rain has killed
nine people.

Killer rain, standing
over this city with dagger in hand.

Dagger dipped in the filth
of train tracks and sea spray.

It comes cleanly down;
dividing
first class,
second class,
construction-site class.

The lake performs a pushup.
The water-starved city cheers.
The lake raises itself up, arms inclined;
chin trembling, clearing the bar.

The nine are offered up,
gathered gracefully in a supine roll.

Mumbai:
the monsoon folds itself
neatly on a hanger;
waist bent,
a slight bow,
ready to keep it's date after with Ahmedabad.








Crossing the Equator

Humid
is the name of an ugly boy.
He skulks around pavements
waiting to frighten little children into
dropping their ice cream,
a puddle
waiting to be slipped on.

Humid
is the name of an ugly boy.
On the train he drools
in his sleep,
the steady drip of fluid
putting passengers
to sleep.

Humid
is the name of an ugly boy
that lives in a river
running through the city.
In its heyday
the river saw fancy merchants
in silk and junk boats of straw
making love and money by its shores.

These days,
there are only dead fish making their way upstream.
Nothing he could have done
would have kept their blood warm.



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