Telephone wires

By Nina Anin

Telephone wires
The maps in the gallery are a mangled mess of roots:
The east dragon and the west dragon can’t seem to work out
where their tails should fall,
Monkey King is journeying to the north instead of the west
they could close their eyes and trace with nails the zebra crossings in the ocean
I struggle to find my way around old land,
incapable of asking for directions in the right language
The translator doesn’t work. It says my great grandfather was a pirate,
when he was a swordsman/doctor who carried lion heads across the continent
just so the new infants can find some piece of their ghosts, one day, maybe
The swaying telephone wires are as lost as I am,
with telegraphs tossed against the windows of the wrong lands
One day, will the ghosts of the shipwrecks at the museum take me
where the telephone wires go?
Meanwhile, I will clutch the ends of the rotary phone, circling and praying,
like they had once done to say, the bombs are falling and we can’t go back,
listening to the uncertain lullabies rushing across before it’s too late
to write down the nautical sagas of the lion heads and their last storerooms

Nina Anin is a writer from Singapore. She enjoys studying history and math, but is at a loss regarding what to do with her future. While she loves the city, she wishes her afternoons can be quieter. Right now, Theophilus Kwek’s Moving House and Alfian Sa’at’s A History Of Amnesia are on her reading list.


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