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Read Time:2 Minute, 18 Second

Written by Anna Chua & Edited by Monika M

thirty summers gone and a minute past and

here I am still, my hands clasped that shake the cloister and

in the whisper, unchanged. This is no Elysium. It is gone and I am here,

bowed before this dis-torted visage of man, beneath

nothing that is the sky, and in nothing

light through the window that pours past wooden floorboards and flows over walls and stain-glass, 

spilling away

nothing that remains of you and I. yet untouched, and perching

upon ruined foundations,

do not begrudge me your ugliness, says the stone,

I see it in your eyes, hollowed-moons, and in

a thousand nameless faces,

the shepherd gone and sheep starved,

that which I know not and cannot say.

who shall speak for us now? I only have this body, (a body),

useless body,


body are you listening? Watch closely. Witness the horrors,

submit yourself. Time that moves the minute, too quickly, and in the turning of an hour,

history unmaking itself, grinding gears

systems upon systems,

fractal snowflakes, insignificance

consuming itself, suspended in equipoise the weight of the earth flung

into my impotent hands, the way syllables

dribble and


past the chitinous shell I have built around

this beating tumour. Yet, growing still, uncontained. Watch 

fallen monarch, insides calcifying

insides – twisting and crawling in darkness – the soup of me that oozes and

congeals, scraping along halls and bowels, ossifying 

cartilage, encasing bone and slow-creeps

patchwork skin such that in the cocooning and reforming,

an imperfect copy affixes the copy and I,

wingless seraph, failed transcription of man.

here is the rock and no water. It is gone and we are bleached bones on the shore,

cords that vibrate and make no sound.

pity the recapitulation, butterfly dreamer,

we are bracing for the end after the end, the end to end all ends

or else endless continuity, and the 

steady march 


fells buildings, rubbles 

streets, dynasties that tumble and

disintegrate – fragmentation in a new theme – blurring 

divisions and ways of being and rituals spun from air, compresses

lives, erodes unbelief, covering bodies with ash, unyielding 

chrysalis – only decay within – and too fast the past fades, 

heavens unshifting under hollow pillars,

and so stumbles soul-wearied pilgrim, lone and 

levelled upon the wreck and the barren sands

that cascade over existence inchoate and

promises unbegun and

over dry plains that

crumble. Rooted upon this cactus land, I stand here now and forever-more

bereft as you, church without a steeple,


grotesque and cast my throne upon

a sea of glass, new dawning star and the dust you brush from the window-sill.

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