Hosts and Ghosts

Grace Chia

A stack of
tiered, every inch counted as closer to Heaven,
to the other realm, the other gate;

flames licking from below
lusting after the higher notes
devouring wealth for the other side, swallowing
for the would-be billionaires;

this side, they roar with glee
as the would-be on the other side
would bless the would-be on this side,
and on and on it burns.

Who raises these altars?
Who are the wealth waiters that swoon
at the crack of the full moon for the hell breakers?
Will they eat the candles?
Will they eat the fruits? The meat?
Will they feed on the roasted pork
gaping its trotter feet?
Will they dunk it down with rice,
glutinous or otherwise?
Who knows these answers?
Who gives these answers?
Who asks these questions?

No one.
And no one will.

light your right
your might
your night;
red wax falling
the ground it smears,
as ghostly tears.

Published in womango (1998)

Postcolonial Web Singapore OV Singaporean Literature Grace Chia