Stone Telling

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hush / it might not get better / give us silence

by Davian Aw


we will always find stolen moments
that oppression cannot reach
that pain and broken bodies cannot taint
and we will paint

utopias with our words and desperate wishes
pulling notes of joy out from the maelstrom
where they can linger
for small eternities
ensconced in hope.

and time
will go on in its unending rush;

but we-
we'll live forever.


it might not get better

I guess we could run

cut ties, break free, wipe histories clean
lose tell-tale photos in trusting flame
leave home, ditch friends, change face, change name
take to the road, ignore the pain
ignore the holes of loneliness
and memories locked in secret places
smile back at suspicious gazes
root ourselves in pasts of void
with childhood selves who scream for voices
live in outcast fantasy
no turning back, just you and me
to weave our futures out from air
and live in them until we wear them out
then we'll begin anew
immersed in dreams we never knew
were possible; and beat despair
back to a time that did not care

though when it's over, when it's done
we'll fall through gaps that people shoved
into our lives, and then we'll land
still strangers in a hostile land;


give us silence

give us silence;
or a tune to carry us away from here
upon the stagnant waves
of sepia-sunken past
and graven heads turned elsewhere new

give us melody:
to play along fingers clasped in palms
to hold in gentle strain and time-stopped wonder
tangled up in mutual touch

give us a moment:
to breathe and wait and linger
in the spaces in between
to never leave
to never die

to never end.

Davian Aw's writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Daily Science Fiction, Lamplight, Diabolical Plots and Plasma Frequency. He also has the dubious honour of winning the 2012 Lyttle Lytton contest for crafting the worst opening sentence to a novel in under 200 characters. Davian lives in Singapore with his family.

Photography: adapted from Sadarak Landscape, by Turan Mahmudov.