WERNER KHO


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

i.
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.

ii.
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-

iii.
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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