Paul Tan Kim Liang

Outside the ships are
riding the crests and troughs of sea
but never moving.

I rub the last of sleep
off my eyes as I watch you --
your upturned white soles,
soft toes and eyes still closed.
I leave only a touch
on smooth thights.
My hand tingles.
This perfect picture blurs.
Love is wet around the eye,
I once said over a rainy supper.

I think (no, I know)
you would rather I leave quietly.
I button up slowly and
turn to the door,
leaving you in golden morning glow,
resplendent slumber.

A ship recovers its anchor
and pulls away sadly
as if in a dream.

Published in Curious Roads (1994)

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Paul Tan Kim Liang