Play this work by Frédéric Chopin as you read.
When you write about someone whom you love during a bus journey, you write him or her into the landscape.
The young girl in the single seat by the window across the aisle draws the curtains, and outside, the oil palm plantations and the hills etch themselves from a washed out pink-coloured night sky.
You leave a mark in every tree, a sign in the land.
The old man next to you wakes, knocks over a cup and water is spilt onto your trousers.
. . .
The old man makes an apology and begins a story.
You live in stolen landscapes and you write, into the changing light of day, a pain relieved only by commas and full-stops.
The sky clears and stars fall out, the girl opens a picture book.
— Used with permission by the author, Phan Ming Yen, That Night at the Beach (2012)