You skim past traffic lights, unshaken by car crashes,
Ride countless roller coasters, seeking any sensation.
You wait for the window’s reflection to reveal your purpose,
Meticulously practising to perfect mediocrity,
Becoming the playtoy of democracy’s skilled puppeteer,
You conform to culture stitching your skin into its fabric
Hoping to rest peacefully in a grave of normalcy.

Cobwebs embroider your pillbox dreams,
The prescription reads differently from everyone else’s.
Your hands twitch to comb through the tangled hair of daisies,
But instead, dive headfirst into rose-bush mazes,
Walking the Garden of Eden, hoping to be led astray
When you pass your kitchen, your medicine takes you away,
Hoping the addiction will dodge you with the same broken grace.

You puncture your hate-sodden lungs.
Invisible in crowds, you become your echo.
You listen to the Morse code of Monday mornings in the rain,
Waking up neither flame nor earth, neither demon nor saint.
You’ve stitched yourself into society’s pillbox,
Sticking a smile that matches the prescribed pattern.
Finally, you breathe like everyone else.
And yet,
why are you still alone?

Writer – Alvia Farooqui
Editor – Josephine Sim
Artist – Sophia Pu

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