Laetitia Keok

Footnotes on Dying

what is survival, but the way a body absorbs
grief1: a mother carrying handfuls of baby teeth

to an overhead bridge bruised the colour of yam2
—亲爱的, darling, in bougainvillea dreams /

the purpled hands of a lover tracing permutations
of skin3, in a world in which one is not the

death sentence for the other, I love her the way
I have loved everything in my life4 /

half-awake, listening for the hummingbird-soft
of my grandmother’s heart5

bright eyes scavenging for brighter ones / in a
car, barefoot, my father learns to be

a better fish—creasing the horizon, calling it
apology6 / in the end, what is grief, but




1 a lifetime, bloated, as if drowned,
2                          betrayed only by a body emptying, on impact,
2                          into concrete
3                                              birthing scar tissue
4 clawing fearful at
5 a breath, hitched /
6                          the running faucet, forgiveless—
7                                    throbbing funeral song



Love Language Bingo
—for my grandma



Laetitia Keok is a poet, writer, & English Literature major from Singapore. She is afraid of pigeons but learning to be brave. Her work has appeared in Vagabond City Lit, Tongue Tied Magazine & elsewhere. You can find her at