my parents' wedding bed
i cracked my head like an egg
at the age of two.
i was ant crawling, hands as feelers,
while my mother was drying her hair.
sometimes i imagine her deciding
what lipstick to wear. but none
as red as the yolk that gushed out
of my soft shelled skull, from a
lampshade next to their
twenty seven year old smiles.
twenty seven forehead stitches later
i wish they had stopped at two.
rather than accidental magpies,
unsure birds wondering at the
sole egg in their nest.
when i perspire sweat forms
around my scar first,
little hairs trapping clear beads
like those stuffed in beanbag chairs.
both lampshade and portrait have
long since broke, my child blood
covered with silk sheets from china
promising cocoon’s rest, daring
my parents to put their years to test
as my father starts to misplace his
wedding band and my mother
lends me make-up to cover up my skin.
we hardly speak at dinner.
the food is laid, like how the bed is made.
should all names
return to the world?
he would ask himself this,
on the nights he stays up
scavenging for spirits
buried under dried leaves.
the mango tree is
the tropical plant of choice
replacing headstones of
prisoners in fiji
he grimaces a little,
as the light from the projector
my bent fork bracelet,
his findings shimmering
underneath my red wine dregs
a disposable cup
an old man’s smile on a
millimeters on yellow tape
costing me months in red
phallic plinths with frosted cases
safe-keeping a recording of
a dead woman artist’s voice
courtesy of obtained copyright
hearing her hopefully makes you feel
like the last hunter of the last dodo
saving space so perhaps the exit
can double to hold more wine
on opening night.
drafting replies to your rsvps
praying that your shoes
don’t leave a stain on my
gesso bleached floor
noted with thanks. best regards
sent from my iphone
Euginia Tan has written two collections of poetry, Songs About Girls and Playing Pretty. She was in the NAC Mentor Access Program 2013 and Curating Lab 2014 with Heman Chong, NUS Museum. She is currently working on her first play with Joel Tan, as well as her third poetry book in 2016.