A Zoom Call, Before Treatment
Kan Ren Jie
He has started praying –
my mother says, clenching in her hands
a blurry set of pixels. An image
of him. How strangely
the bones clatter: a field,
torched like water. I imagine
the shooting of beams — the way,
drenched with sweat — the welts
would form, like the lines
that bend to a collar. In the years
before we would run, gasping.
The evening park, the paths that stretched.
A shirt, fluttering. The cicadas
that screeched. His head, its bobbing —
the rounds, paved between us. The evening
sky layered, sewed like seams.
The light a bridge, covering silence.
In the years since
I have searched for an entrance:
to see again – in fluorescence,
the towering columns of clouds, the trees,
their spindly leaves – bodies
that broke sound. His old shirt,
pooling sweat. But now the pixels
strain. I see stretched protrusions —
those asterisks, some glimmers
of light. His blurred
tearing. Like a curved path
forking into the evening —
darkening, the purple dressed
against the trees. For one last round.
This shadow, leaving.