Xiao Ming Saves the World
On Sunday, Xiao Ming dreams of an embargoed island
to which no other nation sells food. Wasteful Singaporeans
have over-eaten at the bestial shrine of Hunger.
The army has requisitioned all hypermarts
and the government has promised all citizens
lawful rationing according to the Health Promotion Pyramid.
Unlike the un-silent majority, Xiao Ming is decisive and ready
with his small mess tin to accept prosperous trade-offs
for an average lifespan. But the island is invaded
by Titans. Starving masses who rush to durians
the size of the Esplanade are impaled without mercy,
while thousands more are seduced by a lemak breeze
wafting from Tanjong Rhu. They drown in sambal belachan.
In Whampoa, Xiao Ming bails laksa gravy
from his fifth floor flat with a newspaper boat.
He wakes, perspiring, in the hungry, supper-less night
knowing what he has always done is right:
to prepare extra wet wipes for his children,
to boil all drinking water in the house,
to detest waiters by passing plates to them,
to waste nothing when he can raise his hand.
Twice Xiao Ming has been fined:
once for pouring mosquito oil into private drains,
and once, under a blacked-out street lamp,
for shining his army torchlight for passing cars.
By Ann AngQLRS Vol. 20 No. 4 Oct 2021