when was it that I first knew you?
Eternity — at the age of two
I think I first saw you.
gazing through my tear-soaked blindfold
that my mitten-bound hands could not remove,
I lost myself in the warm colours of your embrace
as terror descended on a body no longer mine.
you remain my first memory. but then,
how could I understand you?
seven. on dark basement steps, you found me again.
though you took me by surprise.
soothing and seducing
were your intoxicating whispers —
yet silent were your eyes.
I took in your ethereal liquor —
I breathed your whispers in.
“You don’t have to be here and suffer;
you just have to imagine.”
so imagine I did. I buried my head into your embrace
and pressed my eyes against my thighs —
no longer on a cobwebbed staircase, I felt myself rise.
I had grown wings.
I felt myself soar and soar.
but then your whispers ceased, and the spell was broken —
I was Icarus no more.
at eight I took to heart my mother’s words:
“Don’t sleep under the blanket, or you’ll run out of air.”
while I ruminated escape. did I dare? did I dare?
I buried my head under my blanket,
and waited for your whispers to arrive.
but they never did —
even when I pressed the blanket tight.
I lay there breathing, and felt my air grow warm.
you had promised. you had promised.
why wouldn’t you come?
sometimes I’d catch you in the news in Singapore;
my family lived on the seventh but
when I was ten I’d go to the thirteenth floor
and imagine the lives of everyone below —
and I’d see your form beckon.
how easy was it to take the leap!
how easy was it for me to go!
at thirteen I started hearing you call and call —
singing a siren song only I could hear
that made me ponder my own insignificance.
that made me feel downright weird —
if my memories had been planted,
I wanted none of it.
I wanted you, Eternity.
I wanted out of my imprisoned skin.
at nineteen, who else could fill my growing empty
where two dozen lovers had failed?
at night I would go to bed to your roaring whispers —
kept up by your siren wail.
you were always waiting home for me,
after every intimate party,
after every proud travail,
to suck the meaning out of them,
until I valued nothing else but you.
you make a fine lover Eternity —
indeed you really do.
but sometimes I’m not sure Eternity
if I’d really want to be kept forever by you.
I must admit your wine is sweetly intoxicating!
sometimes I want to drink my fill —
only to find myself awake in hospitals
where they give me different pills —
till my mind is numbed to silence
till my mind is quietly still.
but the silence is still an absence
that I can still poignantly feel.
some days I’m not so sure Eternity —
sometimes I still dream of eloping with you.