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Elizabeth Ip


Do not go

where four languages cannot describe. What if you cry

and I cannot hear?

So much for the work of love,

for in the dumb white face of the candle

I saw yours; and could not bear the light, which

like a body in the prayer-room

will go out someday.


Where I come from,

all love stories end beyond the coast. The sisters.

Lions who walked into the sea. That sea,

a god whose hand we know like our own

open palm – better when it’s closed.

I have profaned through the valley and spat in their fish.

I have trespassed on the hilltop. Made a path of their graves.

Kings may stand between us;

they do little else. At the wake,

all men splutter.


Like our island

we end with water. Where flame closes its mouth,

its eyes, its ears. The prayer has been prayed,

so go on – and know every star

has a follower. Every lover, their love.

Elizabeth lives in Singapore, with her dog and viola. Her work appears in the Borderless Journal and Lavender Bones Magazine. They use a BAHA 5 Sound Processor, and occasionally Twitter and Instagram (where you can find them at @elizablurts). 

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