• May Chong

Selected Poetry by May Chong

Photo Source: Geograph.org.uk


If destruction is a hollowing

then creation is filling in the blanks;

If creation murmurs unending

then the spaces in bridges must sing;

If the bridges you burn light the way

then match iron to iron on your blind back;

If you hear the pounding of iron rice

then learn metal jam on your bread;

If the gleaning of bread is a millstone

then lay your dust below the trees;

If your trees are transmuted to gunmetal

then weep with the bruised sky;

If the sky cries you awake

then answer with proud banners;

If the red banners encircle your heart,

then unbind the falling body;

If your body returns to cold hunger,

then fall famished upon the flame;

If fire is purifier

then the burning is not destruction.

Bright Eyes

When the bed feels too wide, I like

to pretend you’re the megabillboard

on the highway’s collarbone, blasting

through my window like a sun on the way

to going nova: a gigantic hug

from a star that knows no boundaries.

The fire of your eyes ever changing,

tinting the darkness

behind my eyelids grapefruit-

beetroot-prune. Others

have complained, but you remain

perfectly maintained,

never burning out, the light of

two million LEDs

unstinting. But light of my life

must you keep me awake

every night?



what we have survived: transformation

from cirrus to cumulonimbus,

sudden cupfuls of spring tide.

Ankles tanking on

nameless dancefloors.

Tonsil stones. Annual fever week.

Gut cramps. Firecracker

joints. The years spent

as a cough hostel. Trust

comminutely fractured. Dark

beasts of the mind still unnamed/

untamed. Days when your sleeves

could not soak up all your heart.

Our heart. A heart still

raring to fight, to run,

to scream the sky down. How

rejection rips raw, sawlike.

How hollow solitude. Softening

body, stiffening body, it was never

your fault.


you endured, freestyled

through thorns, learned

words for wild grass

and new birds.

Grow flowers, grow fruit, grow

through the roof of the world

and let light in, beautiful, strange,

skewed sideways body.

One day. One day,

even if not today, one day my body belongs here.

May Chong (@maysays on Twitter) is a Malaysian poet and speculative writer with previous work in Fantasy Magazine, Channel Magazine, Bending Genres and Harbor Review. Away from the keyboard, she enjoys birdwatching, great stories and terrible, terrible puns. Her first microchap, Seed, Star, Song, is available from Ghost City Press (https://ghostcitypress.com/2020-summer-series/seed-star-song).