an excerpt from Across the Hours of Sleeplessness and Waking

November sunset—
twisting through the molten sky
mynahs and tempest

rain at eventide:
lightning scores a brilliant gash
across the twilight

gazing at each
other across a wide horizon—
the twilit sky and I

light pale and frozen,
fractured by the fagile steel
of dancers’ clothes

competing to see
who snuffs out the candles first—
my breath and the wind

children tell stories
to other children, tender
beneath the lamplight

shining fish leap
from my crowded countertop—

slipping silently
through the perfect night, sleep’s wings
beat soft steady strokes

Rain shrouds the city
an hour before sunrise;
the girl next to me
shifts a little, nestled warm,
murmuring softly in her sleep

by Leonard Ng
from Changes and Chances (2014)