The Chinese Girl


I remember wanting to kiss you
Not knowing what a first-kiss could mean
Like a hatched turtle not knowing
The slap of the tide and the surf
On frothy mountain tops, salting to time

Why we can’t kiss now – or ever
Is because my yearning-lips were airlifted
To a different land – a forgotten place
That grew familiar each day
And now I’m a self-confessed local
Gleefully slapping my lips on Willard mangoes
And making a circus out of fleshy rambuttan

And that kiss – our portmanteau
Was lost to time, sunken inside memory-trenches
With little hope to rise again
My lips were now fattened with kisses
Obese as ripened mangoes and hairy rambuttan
That the season brought

And your kiss sometimes appears
Rising through the dough of a fortune cookie
Or in the bite of a Chinese gooseberry
In a glimpse of lychee-rinds wallpapering your lips
Or a scoop of a noodle in a Laksa soup

Only for deja-vu to grip me…

Like we’ve kissed in a dream


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