Changi Village, Singapore
The food queue stretches forever
as it did back then. As he did then
he squats against the wall,
stick legs and arms all angles;
left hand shields his eyes, eats
with the other. Rice. He still dreams
of rice; clean, no stones. And salt. Loves salt.
Sweats so much it’s like he’s drying
from the inside out. No meat on his bones,
just rib-shapes through scraps of tattered clothes
on crusted skin baked brown as the thin soup
that he takes in one gulp and instantly
expels in spurts from his ruined gut.
Everything reduced to this, expands
to this. It’s never over, never enough.