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The Preparation

by Jason Wee

I’m ready to vote 

for the pines but the

referendum lists only

the differences between

this system of surveillance

and two others. 

I’ve asked, my questions

among the blossoms

in an about-to-burn field 

or, how does one squirm 

away from cheery

injunctions with teeth shut, to

reply you made possible

an utterance this 

side of unwilling

yet set free? They can

pick their bouquet from 

any adjacent field, I

cast myself for,

and into, the charred stems, 

the wetland, the clap-call. 

  

*


Not pulling back the welcome

mat but the surprise 

when your front window 


breaks, the unnerved talk 

of truth as never without 

unjust cause, but how


do you spell 

authoritarianism 

without asia, or will,


given the atavic ore

we tore our now for,

the strength heard in speech


upon “I’ll protect” speech

be the exit of 

a limping king or a


scene, pleasuring yourself 

to find your hand in

the mirror stroking a 


chimp? When should I walk 

away? When does nothing ...

remain, replace the pane.

*

Isn’t that I cannot see

the lit path back, mud-

caked shrapnel, debris

blasted from the meeting of 

will and resistance,

but another sight,


a wish yet-spoken I held

like a cure, full, on

its outstretched spoon.


Hearing is the last 

sense to go, or a corpse 

held down its way with words,


a gift-wave transmitting your

wish to its inner 

ear, not live but leave 


not again but forever. 

I put my lips to

this dead earth. A wave. 

*

The board by the lift

to my apartment

refreshes with new by-laws,


space's the crux, its scarcity

for others means watch-

words, nouns drowned by their


covert weight, of hills

razed into shores, of bit tongues.

Courtesy is for


free claims one poster. 

As for the self, how much was 

it for, it the grains


my built dreams tremble on, 

the fact buried by 

the omitted, for this?

*

Flags drape off every

porch and parapet.

Posters, in bold, ‘this country


the ship that keeps us 

safe’. Declarations 

legible everywhere


and no evidence. 

I tried to talk but

ears turn faster than questions.


I run from those who say

they love me. They say 

that a lot. I run hard. 

Jason Wee is an artist and a writer. He is an editor at Softblow poetry journal. He's edited numerous books, including Boring Donkey Songs, by Lee Wen, and SQ21:Singapore Queers in the 21st Century. He lives between New York and Singapore.