Second Spring

in singapore the weather is so indeterminable. sunny or sunless; the rain sweeping our borders unnoticing its human lives; and time, calendar time, means nothing. i have known the seasons not through prediction or a clock but a dawning awareness that the flowers are in bloom again, for the second time this year. i can never remember which month it is that the flame of the forest crimson the trees, or the yellow flame races across the landscape in lemoned fire, or the mempat starts to blur everything in a shock of pink, like skirts in a puddle after a curtsy. there is a time of year where it is wet, then sunnier and sunnier, and the flowers come to life. hibiscus, ixora, periwinkle, bougainvillea, heliconia, allamanda. as if bird-watching i count off these names as i walk through the neighbourhood. everything frenetic, so lush, desperate with life. second spring, the newspapers call it. i remember now what is possible. an unpredictable season, then sunlight turned petal after rain.


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