Hao Guang Tse, an English MA student and writer, nominates “After Word,” a poem by Lee Jing-Jing. Hao comments, “”After Words” reveals elegance, slyness and surprise contained within the most stereotyped but still most really Singaporean word of them all.”
The words snake out of my mouth before I can stop them.
Braiding the ends of sentences,
keeping them tied up with a velvet ribbon,
or left loose
to unfurl slowly in the hours after.
Hear the difference between
Shut up, and
Shut up, la.
The last word hiding in it the curve of a smile,
making a blow land light as a kiss.
by Lee Jing-Jing
Published in Moving Words 2011: A Poetry Anthology, edited by Alvin Pang, The Literary Centre, (Singapore), 2011.
Reprinted with the author’s permission.
Read another poem by Lee Jing-Jing.