Out Of All The Elements

They don’t tell you how dangerous air gets.
Or an antiquated ventilation system.
I turn on the standing fan in winter. And crack the window open.
And pay very little in rent.
To lie down, eat grapes. No mosquitoes.
To not have black dust take X years off my life.
The whitest shade of HDB tile,
like teeth in a mouth.

Koh Xin Tian lives in Singapore. Previously, she was the poetry editor of the Cheat River Review at West Virginia University.