“City At Night” by Elliot Ng1 min read

0 comment

Photo by Larry Teo

So this is how it feels, ears an errant visitor
amidst hushed conversations under the orange lamp
whose glow glances your skin, shimmering ever so slightly.
Like the kumquat in dawn brimming with the promise of sweetness
which tinges the tongue leaving everything and nothing in a minute.

In the dusk of the night all I see are the headlamps and
backlights of cars as they swivel past, a flurry of amber and white
highbeam intruding in this sphere of darkness which envelopes.

How it feels to walk alone in a sea
of people with their arms linked and locked.
And you keep having to say
sorry because you’ve graced another pinecone of love
sorry because you’ve bent into another hefted home of warmth.

In this city, all skyscrapers look the same.
So why do architects keep
etching a new concrete beast across the sky.
As if all hunkering giants have to hawk the same tune and space
deprived of all agency.

Before I kiss the cheek of my father and turn,
stabbing somnolent steps onto the sand
let me scream another piercing cry into the night as I shall,
in the slow melodies ascend.
My knees lifted off chafed floor,
I shall ascend.
And utter my name because in a city of millions
I refuse to be someone but everyone and thus no one.


Elliot Ng is a young Asian writer from Singapore. He is a lover of the arts and a self-proclaimed romanticiser of life. Focussing on identity and culture, his works are borne out of raw 3 am thoughts and sudden existential epiphanies on the toilet seat. You can reach him at @couchedellephant on Instagram.

Leave a Comment