and sometimes it happens that there is a day
then there is not a day. a surfeit can feel too much
like a distraction. faith itself like a cavity. a ritual
an act of atavistic dressing. too little time spent
in the dark. too little time spent in that cradle
of breath. moonlight shimmers on the underside
of a cloud. waxen leaves rest on an indoor trellis.
the protection of streetlights guards a damp
neck. a diary sees only the contours of memory.
a calendar whispers the contours of a life.
a friend is a friend and then isn’t.
a love held closely is a love that is distant.
a desk rises as a chair falls, the evening rain
empties itself onto the grass. the grief balloons
and then behaves. and sometimes there is a day
then, there is not a day. an aubade resists its
courage and its death. an archivist feels an
intimacy of text. a worker directs the carcass
of a tree. tourists on bridges who must roam
will roam. riders like postmen go home
By Jonathan Chan
Jonathan Chan is a writer and editor of poems and essays. Born in New York to a Malaysian father and South Korean mother, he was raised in Singapore and educated at Cambridge and Yale Universities. He is the author of the poetry collection going home (Landmark, 2022) and Managing Editor of poetry.sg. He has recently been moved by the work of Rowan Williams, Ada Limón, and Toh Hsien Min. More of his writing can be found at jonbcy.wordpress.com.