It could be one of any number of things:
Loose hair, soft as wind, stroking your face;

A finger brushing against shy fingers;
An involuntary, sudden lock of eyes.

A man with flowers and a briefcase would say,
In his taut seconds, in his wordless soul,

How the quest of Orpheus for Eurydice
Makes the cold front, slashing the earth with hail.

For some it is the closed embrace refilling
The Aral Sea, out of what is scarce.

For some it was a burst of tender feeling
Brought full in terminable days.

Once you have touched the other, death
Is near. Consider how the dead exist.

In all our various tenses, it is the earth
Consumed by sun, devoted and held fast.

by Toh Hsien Min
from The Enclosure of Love (2001)


SELECTED POEMS: "Printing Money" >