The h makes all the difference;
an absent presence, harmony
by hinterland, haven, or hope
found in future fortunes of palm
sugar stirred with coconuts husked
from reclaimed sand, declaiming death
by a thousand cuts. H is the
harangue by a spurned sibling,
unmoved by long years of peaceful
sipping on separate straws, while
planning invasion by proxy
wars. Peace wobbles like green jelly
worms, trespassing sometimes, between
melting ice and old borderlines.
About the poem: This month’s poem takes on the disputed provenance of one of the region’s most beloved desserts, chendol, and also references recent cross-border tensions between Singapore and Malaysia.