Faith Christine Lai


A Ghazal for England

I meet a gospel singer turned cleaning lady.
She sings while she cleans, works to pay the bills for her sister.

I let her get changed in my bedroom for her X-Factor audition.
When she leaves, she calls me sister.

On a lonely winter evening, I watch a funny video on YouTube.
I laugh, and am reminded of my little sister.

I go on a date. He brings me home but doesn’t kiss me,
says I remind him too much of his sister.

My Uber driver tells me he is from Syria.
I call him uncle, he calls me sister.

I have found friends here from every continent.
In their own languages, they all call me sister.

At the end of my housing tenancy, I clean the grime off my mirror.
For the first time, I reach in, hold the hand of my reflection, and call her sister.


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Faith Christine Lai is from Singapore. She is currently based in London, where she is pursuing an MSc in Philosophy and Public Policy at the London School of Economics.