Inez Tan


Origin Story

The sun was formed out of necessity, but
the moon was made
as a gift. It had a beginning, and it
will have an end. I have always thought

of it as a picture of eternity, nonetheless. Of constancy
abiding through change. All through
the years, it has been with me
wherever I go. Even in the darkest of nights, I know

the moon is there. It reminds
me that having faith is a choice we
must make over and over again. All that means
is believing in something we do not yet see.

Simple light, I am a prisoner of my own
habits. Strike me gently blind, but lead me home.



“Remember me when I am gone away…” – Christina Rossetti

“Return to me” – as if I’d gone away
like vapor owing nothing to the land.
No man – you knew before you touched my hand –
however strong, can make a woman stay.
“Return to me” – as if the very day
I’d make my bed and leave you had been planned,
as if a jilted man should understand,
or thorns inflicted teach a wretch to pray.
As if my ragged core were worth your while,
the marks of other mouths not cause to grieve,
as if I’d never think again to leave,
as if we’d heal as though I never had,
as if you could forget me now and smile
when I could still return to you and be glad.



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Inez Tan is the author of This Is Where I Won’t Be Alone: Stories, which was a national bestseller in Singapore. Her writing has won the Academy of American Poets Prize, and has been featured in Quarterly Literary Review Singapore, Softblow, and Rattle. She holds an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan, and is currently pursuing an MFA in poetry at the University of California, Irvine. Find her online at