Werner Kho was born in Singapore and is an aspiring poet. He graduated from
Ngee Ann Polytechnic with a diploma in Child Psychology and Early Education
with a specialisation in Writing and Publishing.

Transparent Neighbour

The first attempt at contact:
morse code after midnight,
bulbs all flickering, a Christmas
light show. Slippers turned half-
way, then abandoned two steps
too far from the door.

The second attempt:
knocks on my door,
a series of hollow knuckles
belting a beat. I smelled
a honey cake filtered through
window grilles. I wondered
if it was you who borrowed
my sugar and spilled it
down the aisle, leaving
a trail of sweet-nothings.

The final attempt:
your door held ajar,
offering bamboo poles of
candy colours. The stain
of neglect on the floor, a
scattering of debris laid
like ornaments. I treaded
carefully, a trespasser
laying eyes on holy ground,
dancing on unheard prayers.

Love in a Foreign Land

Before slashed off
socks, she would reach
the gates across the street,
unhinge his day and
settle it for his shoulders.
Before snap-in buttons,
she would say goodbye,
almost a whisper before anyone
could hear, like eloping lovers.
Now she stays
at home, hears the door slam
shut, and washes the breakfast
plate only an hour later.

Each date was a finger-
print: messy, spiral-
ling, different, danger-
rous. Like teenagers, cur-
fews labeled under-
neath their eyes. Got-
ta be back by ten o'
clock, don't want to be scold-
ed by m'am. See you a-
gain next week? You'
re all that I have be-
sides radio, always play-
ing the same songs now-
adays. Goodbye, good-

Upon exiting, my
sister was eating salt
for breakfast while I stood still.
Now she was leaving,
and I was staying. Usually
it was the other way round.
I burnt the eggs
the next day, my red
shirt bled. I wore pink out
the door, my bed left
unmade. I didn't know

how to fold myself in.

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