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by accident we found a species of self inside a white room back turned toward us when we enter but she doesn’t respond or say hello so does self sense our presence at all she was humming an unrecognizable tune and swaying clumsily to the beat of her own music the air around her ringing spinning the beginning of a vortex her shadows swirled lightly in the moonlight a river with little creatures living inside her hair some short some long harp-like plucked by invisible hands her voice high but confident her hums harmonize with the cicadas chirping outside like she was finding some part of the song to latch herself onto with her hooked but pristine fingernails to sound and resound to play over and over again




self doesn’t seem to need food or water but self moves so the energy must come from somewhere maybe self has little mouths on her feet that feed off the dust mites in the room or is self in a state of hibernation she has eyelashes but her eyes don’t close she likes to criss-cross her fingers hands gripped into a hollow cocoon sometimes she leans for an extended period on one of the four walls staring attentively at a point of nothingness on the ceiling as if posing for a portrait painted by an invisible artist as her pupils shift in and out of focus like freshly-glazed donuts dripping in rich dark caramel she stays still for hours translucent body fading gently in and out of our vision we tried to photograph this phenomenon but self does not appear in the images instead there are specks of light wisping around her silhouette it looked like a gathering of kindred fireflies sharing their life’s stories in slow meditative twinkles in and out in and out




self left the room a phenomenon we thought impossible after all self had no reason to leave it took a while but we find self standing on grass barefoot in a dimly lit courtyard staring at the moon perhaps she photosynthesizes only in direct moonlight her face looks rounder and plumper today she skips with large strides on the grass the courtyard is the size of a hill and there is wilderness beyond the demarcated concrete when it gets darker self stretches and lays down on her side next to a lone flower she poises herself horizontally on the ground reminds us that she has no bed within those white walls we see the earth cradle to the soft contours of her small belly the flower’s stigma bows to kiss her on the cheek and self seems to really like that




today self discovers the mirror a small round compact accidentally misplaced she puckers her lips and the reflection follows slightly delayed she jumps and hides in the corner of the room we assume she has never confronted her image before the mirror starts to fog as she creeps back to it on all fours a morbid fascination speckling her face she brings hands to her cheeks pushing the skin and fats into a single spot like a red birthday balloon she was hurting herself but nothing pops so self falls flat on her back disappointed looking up at the ceiling where a cobweb is forming in its early stages of development small an uncomplicated pattern like it was home to a spider that was spinning its webs for the first time we believe self instinctively found herself tethered to the imaginary baby spiders as she mouths words repeatedly in short airy breaths grow up wear a suit walk with power




self learns to explore her body as she stretches the tips of her fingers grazing corners of the small room she rolls around hoping to learn what makes her float lightly troublesomely an inch above the floor she repels the earth because the earth repels her but she chooses to stay near the ground her arms move like extensions of orbit like electrified hair that strays with life above the head self notices her small breasts wide waist and tiny feet wonders if she was made that way and what for is it normal for a part to exist without function, for a body to sit around without purpose if she squishes herself will she end up the same size she stands up affixes herself onto a wall puts her right hand above her hair pushes herself down her feet shortly buckling under sudden pressure before she regains her footing when she steps out a blurry shadow remains self brushes everything away the wall beneath looks a bit shinier she hops a little bit as if she’s discovered something wonderful she stacks some objects in the room books stationery piles of clothes onto a precariously balanced structure same height as her then kicks it down when things fall there is no noise or dust or rubble they just dismantle and return silently to their original positions self knows the room so well it’s like she’s lived there for centuries




self finds a way to climb onto a rooftop on a slow cloudy day she sits and looks at the city clapping and cheering like her favourite football player had just scored a goal below just smoke self sits up straight either afraid of losing her balance or trying to be extra attentive to people below as they trawl along the roads in straight endless lines traces a man dressed in office attire too big for him maybe self belongs on disney channel her invisible criss-cross weaves a dream catcher self stops after a while admiring her masterpiece she giggles and rocks herself as if the roof was her classroom chair we thought she was going to fall but she didn’t when the sun set she hopped back on the ground for a moment her work is visible taut mesh of strings in the air blinking like dusk then it fades to the wind self didn’t look back though it seems she was intent on letting go from the start




self turns twenty-six years old and is learning to trust her instincts for the first time she wedges herself uncomfortably between two stone-cold pillars despite signs that say do not touch stares longingly at the polished edges of an architectural marvel how concrete hardens to bind together no flaws or cracks anywhere self looks down to see two bugs rubbing their hairy legs together like how we humans rub our hands together tongue out before every meal behind them flowers and crickets sway to a silent off-beat piano self sticks out a finger and one winged insect crawls up her arm and rests in the crater-like skin folds of her elbow it falls asleep as self rocks her arm back and forth like a cradle self could get used to a new companion she moves elsewhere sits where the cool breeze hits her friend self looks upwards to see a translucent cloud shaped like a coconut blows at it gently expecting a tropical drink to pour from the sky nothing comes but self smiles reassured that she is doing something right




self gets on a plane in a time where some planes protest against flying covered in dark thick fabric picked out of her closet for days she has been sleeping then one early morning she steps out of the room climbs on top of a taxi somehow knowing it would take her to the airport gets on the plane without anyone spotting her not even the air stewardess she touches the cold window pane with her hand peering outside at the other smaller baby planes racing each other gleefully around the airport her eyes close as if holding a silent prayer for her old home saying thank you and goodbye to dirt she once revered the plane and its passengers pause for this respectful being as a cleaner scrapes fallen leaves outside through the window we see self gasp in delight as the plane lifts off from the ground we can only imagine what kind of thrill she must feel being in the air for the first time like being aboard a passageway to another world




we’ve lost all contact with self now the gps tracker we sneakily put on her no longer works and in the lab only two team members are left working on flatlined data trying to make sense of self’s actions to put into a report we’ve run out of funding so they’re looking for another job at the same time i don’t think we can glean more than we already have but we get a sense that self seems happy wherever she is the last memory we have of her where she is holding her hands upwards almost cuddling with the sky

Max Pasakorn (he/she/they) is a queer, Thai-born, Singapore-based writer, poet, and spoken word artist. They are one of the founding members of the Singapore-based writing collective /stop@BadEndRhymes (/s@ber). Read more about Max at, follow Max on Twitter at @62purcenthomo, and follow Max on Instagram at @maxpsk_writes.
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