Bryan Cheong Sui Kang is a final year student at Raffles Institution,
Singapore. He has previously published work in the journal ceriph, the
Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, and The Anthology & Words: Poems
Singapore and Beyond.
The man covered with warts
My eyes cannot avert
from staring at your nape.
I see your face, and I imagine
your chest, your legs, the warts that dot your scrotum.
Once, I saw a bulbul fall,
one wing twisted at an abstruse angle.
It hopped away, afraid,
as I approached to lift it up.
And on this crowded bus we all have boarded,
we shunt aside and leave an emptiness
between ourselves and you
as though on entering you waved a bell
and cried, "Unclean, unclean." I know
you know the things we think, I think.
Immaculate, in church, a marble Virgin
overlooks the faithful as they pray.
Who would dare kiss the warts of saints;
how would you intercede for me
when I, poor sinner, daren’t even touch you?