Poetry We Love — The Lover's Inventory

Posted on January 14 2019


Poetry We Love is BooksActually's newest blog series featuring excerpts of poetry from our favourite collections. In this edition, we look at the newly-reprinted Math Paper Press publication written by Cyril Wong, 'The Lover's Inventory'. The poems in this collection serve as letters to past flings, lovers and exes, bearing messages about the challenges of desire, loneliness, and letting go. ‘The Lover’s Inventory’ was awarded the Singapore Literature Prize for English Poetry in 2016. 


"Why we don't know that every answer

we ever need resides already in us

remains a puzzle. When you

showed me the bed strewn with

rose petals, as if I were a movie bride,

I must have known this was all wrong,

even as I sealed us in with words of forever.

Maybe some lies are crucial,

their lessons paring away false

expectations of love; more and more

each time any lie fades like a bruise

or close like a fracture along the bone

hardening upon recovery.

This is the lie I still tell myself."


— Cyril Wong, 'Petals'


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