A Shape like a Circle

Artwork by Cheralyn Lim
Artwork by Cheralyn Lim

For G. & M. K., & fellow travellers




I travel incognito in an

Englishman’s “Chinese delegation”


with a box of Belgian chocolates

& a leather-bound journal from Florence


that you can take home with you.

I know it seems redundant


going to Bruges, but I’ll let you know

that the box & journal will never speak


of the green upon green found living

along the Rhine. Where Prague’s forest,


once claustrophobic, disperses

into that same greenery.




I’ll also let you know that receiving your

pre-packaged blow of home-grown intellect-


ual decay post-September 7th on

the grounds of Sachsenhausen could not


compare to the melodrama of

a quick fuck in a shower


stall, before coming down

& hitting bottom that same morn-


ing en route to Amsterdam. All of us

having stayed up, scattered across


Berlin before, like well-learned

children, making our way back


with alternative versions playing

at slippery nerve ends.




Or that coffee

pot enjoyed


just outside

Dutch canals.



After talking at you for two days,

using your man-deodorant


& toothpaste (I’ll send you

those photos I promise).


Now back to Florence: Firenze’s

hospital fresco was inspirational





& Rome was


good & all (if

you’re into that


kind of thing).

But it’s Vienna,


that overnight

train arrival,


that you

cannot beat.




I’ll ride

the circle


just once

to you


with this

circus where




the mucus breaks & I bleed

for the first time in two months,


realising this was

a healthy thing to do.


You start when I finish & I

take off with egg in my hair,


knowing its okay.

We’ll meet in two weeks


where we can do it

all again.