Stone City by Phua Ying Isabel

This rust-red sill has seen its share of days. Window to the world,

It stands, weary of worn walls and wilting willow trees, watching

The insidious crown of metal roofs, throne of red-brick

Walls, and a wheezing tanker of Yemeni blood oil parked outside.

My city breathes on me like a living thing - juggernaut of

Institutions and expectations pressing down. Look how tiny


Are, how insignificant! Stuck in this tired, unyielding wave of what can and should be.

My city a moulding force with its

Own will, shaping and moving and glueing its five point five million parasites - not

So much a social construct, but an

Outdated slab of concrete and a thunk of hollow copper pipes, unintentionally animated.

And this sewer-glue a meaningless grey cement on my thighs, my knees,

My throat. Expired laws, shackles of progress, and infinitely hungry hands.

Engorged and clamped shut, they paint this mask of holy disdain onto a

Thousand unseeing eyes.

What shall it take to move this behemoth of rubble and rules?

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