A Malaysian Comes to Singapore
The checkpoint looks bigger than Singapore!
Glossy doors and uniforms slide aside
Automatically, away from lips curved
Like whips, neatly fixed over the preserved
Tips of blunted nails. They key us inside
The system, and then we're off as before
Down the expressway – though now everything
Is in English, all but stray traces
Of race safely effaced in the bright
White letters of white words bleaching places
And faces. They wait at the crossing
(Here the traffic lights actually function!)
– then tick on scentless feet through the doors
Of nine-to-five jobs, across citrus-washed floors
Stacked sky-high in this "city in a garden"
Where the manicured trees trapped in the breeze
Of our engines tremble.
Green leaves, blue seas,
In the shadow of whitewashed HDBs
Clean as teeth in the gold maw of a lion
God – it's a colouring book of a country,
Waiting for a story.
By Irian WayQLRS Vol. 7 No. 3 Jul 2008