Even the grey pigeons know how to kiss
Even the grey pigeons know how to kiss.
Court-dancing on the grasslawn, the black male
pivoting as the smaller, less grey female twists
and twirls in a starry arc around the male.
Beak-to-beak affection, almost a savage
nipping of the other’s orifice. Yet far
from violence: the grey beaks touch and ravage
each other with the tender touch of stars:
sharp, gently preening, and beak-locking,
the grey tongues somewhere between excitement
and breathlessness; the male on female stalking
as she breaks away from passion’s incitement
and stuns me watching ten feet away:
entranced by love, and birds that never stay.
Two lovebirds sleep on
each other’s shoulders. The train -
their sweet, moving nest.
Wrong station announced.
An auntie laughs - hyneas.
The carriage echoes back.
Driver barks - Simei
over intercom’s Joo Koon.
Passengers play bi-
polar - phones - sneaked looks.
Strange how stations swap their Poles
and people are silent.
The lovebirds cuddle,
carriages drone rumbling song
through stale, kiasu days.
The Shop and the Children
The children play, brick by brick by brick
scattered over the floor, a mess for
mothers’ admonishment. Theirs hangs around,
vulture of supervision; she flashes me
a grin that devours my guts by
the cashier counter. Patiently, patiently, like
a weasel of its store of game for sale, I
wait – the children continue playing, their
mother hawks commands to “hurry up and go”
(some elder vultures are waiting).
Chuckling to self, refraining a bile
of impatience from welling up, I bid the boys
leave the toys on the floor – my next chore.
Strange how vultures know compassion too!
Her mouth, now crinkling like granny’s,
raptures me ten seconds deciphering
dimples for answers.
The boys are gone. Dread drops its
talon-weight; the shop seems suddenly
too endless for its shelves, awaiting
the next batch of boys to come and
scatter its toys over the barren floor.
Dan Tan is a sleeping poet who spends the other half of his life living between the worlds of hobbies and words. Verses come scarce to him; he writes only when struck by lightning while walking or drooling on sweet moments in sleep. He has a thing for commanding troops across a paper battlefield, and manifests this delight in the realm of Chinese chess.