Lisabelle Tan

Bruised Light

“If my self is a shadow, at least I made a dent in the light” – Cyril Wong’s “If…Else”

A shadow is but bruised light
Blooming blue-violet-gray in agony
On skin. The edges of which curl outward,
Are singed, seared, smeared ashen with soot
Textured grain smoothened over a little pain.

A shadow is but a shape of indefinite shifting
Shapes that is in turn shaped
By light. Sculpt the dark with a blade of light
That slashes through
Formless dark with edges and contours.

A self, like a shadow, is formed when light is cast
Upon it. Cleave away the veils of
Shadows, peel away the layers of selves.
When light strikes the surface, a shadow
Emerges misshapenly but unmistakably.

A self, like a shadow, flits through this terrain
Of chiaroscuro and ruin. Peters out upon
Contact with the dazzling spark, swallowed
By an unfathomable dark. The skeins of a
Silhouette unravelling astray.


Lisabelle Tan
Lisabelle identifies as a struggling millennial navigating her way through life. She writes because she must.