The bomb and what happened after.
Charlock and clover grew after.
Among the rubble she picked after
glister. Bellis perennis persisted after
war opened spaces. Lucerne came after
and fireweed flamed unbroken.
Wild flowers were hopes after.
She compressed those after
and between flimsy sheets. After
the blast, she pressed leaves after
leaves, petals into an ever after
of absorbent blotters. She lived
to preserve. She was feeling after
something. Nothing was white after.
She stored specimens after
drying. Foliage labelled after
a taxonomy of loss. And after
that she put seeds in packets.
A Chinese-Malaysian living in London, L Kiew earns her living as an accountant. She holds an MSc in Creative Writing and Literary Studies from Edinburgh University. Her debut pamphlet The Unquiet came out with Offord Road Books in February 2019. She is currently a participant in the London Library Emerging Writers Programme.