Back to Issue Eight.

How We Make Love



Clumsily and tenderly at first,
like preschool attempts at origami;
folding and unfolding sections
to see where the corners go,
where the ugly parts can hide
and where all the pieces best fit.

Then taking our awkward
swan-bird-ball-folded-paper-thing home
shyly and proudly, placing it on a mantle
so everyone who comes can see.
“Look! I made something!
I am not quite sure what it is, but look!
I made something.”

But over time fearfully and rarely,
as fingers grow more adept
at taking things apart
than putting them together,
more careful knowing that paper
folded along the wrong
lines too many times tears easily and neatly.

And things stop making it to the wall.

Until one day, when dusting out the attic,
a swan-bird-ball-folded-paper-thing
is found wedged under an old trunk,
with what must once have been a wing
bent over what could once have been a head
and thinking, “Wow, I used to make things,”
but then, that was a long time ago.

Cheryl Julia Lee is currently an English Literature major at Nanyang Technological University. Her work has been published in Epiphany and Winter Tangerine Review. She has also performed at the Singapore Writers Festival 2012. She would love to spend a day with you in a nice cafe, listening to your story and maybe taking your photo.