I met two old giants of wind 

out in the mountains 

where the air was green, velvet, glass.


By then they had bled

into each other: watercolours

on the sky’s blank paper,

fingers entwined as a whirlwind,

limbs of liquid light

grafted like two boughs

unsplitting into a single trunk. 


Joy or fury, bubbling in one heart

would spill through both

like a breath shared between faces.

The scope of constellations they scanned

spread only as far as two adjacent points 

on a compass.


Each entered the other’s self 

like a house, taking and leaving 

whatever they wished


until they could scarcely tell

where his memory ended and hers began,

which worry she set down that he then took up,

whose words braided whose

to slither out as a single sentence

that told the story of their life. 


This is the only way to be immortal—

to give yourself up so generously

there is nothing left that is yours alone,

nothing that could truly die. 


So they divided the heft 

of suffering by exactly half;

so the first step into the next world

they would take together. 


I watched them pass through the trees

or the trees pass through them,

birds still beating in their chests,

their skin flushed dusk-pink,

the sun as her eye, the moon as his,


the difference between both as unassuming

as a strand of sky. 


Yee Heng Yeh is a writer and translator from Malaysia. His poetry has been featured in The KITA! Podcast, adda, Strange Horizons, a few local anthologies, and was shortlisted in the Malaysian Poetry Writing Competition 2021. His translations of poetry have also been published in Mantis and Nashville Review, while his fiction has appeared in Guernica. You can find him on Twitter @HengYeh42

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