Ann Ang, Singapore
Dead wings or living feathers,
he counts them in flight
against skies wrung with pastels
and traffic babble. Black-naped orioles
are yellow pips in tree-stubble.
The butterflies he finds in the grass
or on the cement path, winking
slow defiant colour:
flightless scales weightless
in the carriage of his palm.
Liking or not liking does not come into
the careful placing of pins. They hold
this slow-stirring tropical palette
breathing, under office air-conditioning,
with remembrance as old as
the building is new. The birdwatcher sits,
eyeing this refrigerated spring,
knowing that for some,
trees are seen only through windows.
Ann Ang’s poetry has appeared in the Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS), the California Quarterly and the Jakarta Post. She is also the author of Bang My Car (Math Paper Press, 2012), a Singlish-English collection of short stories, which has received complaints for being excessively funny. Ann is pursuing a DPhil in English at Oxford.