Xiangyun Lim has a particular interest in translating contemporary works from the Chinese diaspora. Her works can be found in Living in Babel (Canopy), The Creative Literary Studio, and is forthcoming in Poem. Having grown up in Singapore, Xiang has lived in Seattle, Barcelona, Taiwan and United Kingdom. She is one of the recipients of the Singapore Apprenticeship in Literary Translation (SALT). She can be reached at https://tweedlingdum.com.
State of Phobia
A middle-aged lady sits, heavy
with plastic baggies of
“Smells good right? You want one? Cannot,
got fine. Fine how much money ah?
You know, we used to live in Sembawang, it was
a slice of kampung life,
a village of unending chatter
a village moved
into newly built flats. But
it is quiet where I stay now. No one talks.
‘Don’t speak to strangers,’ my son says.
‘Don’t be nosy.’ So
I stay silent.
(Doors open and
Do you know? It’s so quiet where I live.
I want to move to Yishun. Nearer to my sister.
There’s this hill, once you see it,
soon you will get off the train.
Many urns on this hill.”
One could spy eagles then
soaring in circles
Once it rained for so long
rivers of ashes seeped
into soil, flowed