I resolved to be a good hostess
to all who come to my door.
I would offer custard creams,
kueh lapis from the coffee shop
down the road, pu’er tea,
Earl Grey or organic rooibos,
whichever they prefer.
I would sit and get to know them,
ask why they are the way they are,
who they are and where they come from.
But how they love to come
in the most unholy hour,
riding on the tails of thunderstorms.
They must force open drawers
sealed shut by damp, brandish
yellowed diaries and read out
lines I wish I had never penned.
They pounce upon frayed soft toys
stitched whole with zigzag scars
and tug until the stuffing falls out.
They stay until the sky turns metallic
and leave me with bruise-rimmed eyes
and chalk-pale cheeks wondering
how I might face this world.
written by Moira Ong