Cyril Wong





Why do we keep dining on—

gorging, wetly vulnerable, open-

throated—the low-hanging

fruit of our common—presumably,

unfailingly fundamental—

humanity, not pausing for even

hydration or air, as if to seal

the deal—the wound, the source

of every dissatisfaction—Edenic

fruit which ripens the moment

we take it in our mouths and

suckle, draw from, swallow—

this metaphor hardens, softens,

hardens again—as it vibrates,

trembles, eases its load only to

gather it back again—shaking

from the unshakeable permanence

of our condition, our widening

to take it all in, overused muscles

in the jaw tightening—never

snapping, slackening, taut—

as if heaven and hell were one

and the same non-duality

we misunderstood for all our

animal life, a totality of existence

in this distended missile of meat

blowing up against the palate—

uvula, this tongue’s generous

tilt for gasping spaciousness—

we as one body absorbing

itself into itself, letting itself go

again in one continuous, pulsing

samsara of hunger, thirst—love, self-

loathing lathed to feel like love—

surrender, submission, simultaneous

domination, edging control, strategic

adherence, as if this was how we had

designed desire—we the master

or mistress, the lock and key, not

merely the lock each key slides into—

twisting, thrusting, invading—

before writhing to pull out, faltering,

failing, remanded, tortured—

turning to keep turning in every

wrongful, clockwise, anti-clockwise

direction—our burden to unlock

nothing as well as everything—nothing

more to be mastered from release,

nothing beyond this epithalamium

for skull and glans rocketing

across a history of abuse, maybe,

or atavistic chemical inclinations

tying us down to this wish for tying

back to meat—shaft, frenulum,

apex to urethral meatus—without

end, unending, gagging, gagged

for what seeps through—the world

discharging what we asked and begged

for—still not what we wanted,

not quite—not slowing or stopping

until salt gushes to sweetness carpeting

floors of our cheeks—oneness,

tenderness, surely—no more departure

or abandonment, no separation

from what belongs, what remains

ours to keep or choke on, enriching

intestinal juices to thicken blood,

enter heart—part of us, if not

in spirit, at least in flesh—to dignify this

unshakeable body breaking—peeling,

falling and still falling—apart

from what it knows it cannot hold.









Cyril Wong is a poet and fictionist in Singapore.  His last book was Infinity Diary, published by Seagull Books in 2020. 



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