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