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 Vol. 3:  Saudade 

My Husband Is Always Missing

Ismim Putera

Ismim Putera (he/him) is the author of poetry chapbook "Tide of Time" (Mug and Paper Publishing, 2021). He had recently won 3rd place in the 7th Singapore Poetry Contest.

My husband is always missing:
last night I found him in
my grandmother’s dream
he dressed like her; 𝑠𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑘𝑒𝑡
wrapped his upper body
glossy hair like sun-dried sea kelp;
his coral-coloured lips were
salty; two eyes dark blue
but shadowy.
This morning he was part
man, part sea; his heart
beat faster than the
lightning that split the sea
into two unequal halves.
Torrents of tears no longer
wet my earthen face.
His voice rang from
the abyss, ransacking our
little hut; he yelled
“sayang! sayang!”
it meant “love! love!”
He was my late afternoon tides
clashing himself into my
breasts; hands sending waves
to curve my shorelines.
My husband cannot be found
in daylight, even you have
two hundred suns to
enlighten the sea floor
He’s here, a millipede
curling in the cleft of
my wound.


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