the flowers sit by the window sill
drinking in the same square of sunlight as
the day you left.
you didn’t leave so much as
grow still, yellow-gold of petals
haemorrhaging onto pristine glass;
a bud growing in reverse,
impenetrable as a mirror’s surface.
if only i could have stemmed
the flow of jaundiced acrimony
or held together our broken stalks;
now even Van Gogh couldn’t have
breathed the sun into you (into us) again.
and so, the sunlight peeked its head in again today
but you’ve gone away
some days i sit by the window sill;
my dear friend, i do miss you
Still Life by Qwek Wee Chiew, c.1970s; oil on canvas (National Gallery Singapore)