Trepidation creeps on the spine, a tightrope act. 

We are both audience and whipped animal. 

Who will hold my hand? Hopefully myself. 

Every day I see is its own dying breath.

This is the future we walk towards,

a destination we cannot afford,

a world of our own choosing

but not of our making. 

This is the moment where 

you find your lips sewn together 

and yourself, the unforgiving needle,

and a smile breaks across your face but 

not the strings you chose to seal a life away. 

I watch as I dip into the sordid pool, pitch-black. 

I watch as I become naked, freezing and/or afraid. 

I watch as I grow into the mold I sculpt for myself;

I watch as He lays another finger on my back. 

I watch as you tie yourself down to the earth;

the needle and thread embed themselves in me. 

I watch as I walk down the road’s centre line;

I watch as I fail to catch up with my own feet. 

Filed under: Original, Poetry


A member of Singapore-based writing collective /stop@BadEndRhymes ("/s@ber"), Valen dwells in the swamp of poetry. He has been published in various publications, including Anxious Poets Society, Eunoia Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has performed his work at the Arts House, the Singapore Art Museum, and in various dingy bars.

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