Back to Issue 15

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 

to 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.