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Missing Subject Line

Missing Subject Line

By Jee Leong Koh


I’ve just received the package of bones you sent!
I’ve always wanted the complete set
to check if his throat cancer left a mark.

What fun to hold a familiar funny bone and hear
it speak again of a painted scroll,
I know the stupid bird can never eat the stupid peach

and another, offal smooth, never seen before,
a pig is a very compact arrangement,
and wonder where it fits.

The bone for Keith
keeps its silence about a word—

charged with holding the courts in contempt,
the blogger Alex Au
argued the word is gay,

Cyril (remember him?), bless his heart,
believes it is goodness,
while I fancy you

and so the linguist speaks eternally.

Ha, ha! Arthur Yap, I have your bones all in one place,
as others do who cherish completeness,
far from home, above the ground, and unquiet.

Thank you.


Jee Leong Koh Photo by

Cathryn Lynne

Jee Leong Koh is the author of several books of poems, the most recent being Seven Studies for a Self Portrait (Bench P) and The Pillow Book (Math Paper P). Born and raised in Singapore, he read English at Oxford University and studied creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College. He now lives in New York City.

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