When you walk into a bookstore
looking to buy last minute Christmas presents,
go straight for the stationary section,
find the pretty colours with glitter glue in their cartilages;
holidays are meant to be colourful, aren’t they?
But you know they’ll be dropped under desks
and lost in the depths of schoolbags
still full of ink and yet write with invisibility.
Or grab the paint sets, with 5 different sized brushes
and a small blank canvas to spare,
now a days paint splatter is considered art,
your nieces wouldn’t be that bad.
Someday down the road, you’ll get pictures
of their perfect little masterpieces
that have smudged on to the wall and their messy locks,
but they’ll never have a painted smile.
Decide between the set of 24 or 48 colour pencil sets,
look, over there! I see one with a hundred.
They always say, the more the merrier;
you didn’t know that there were so may shades of grey.
You can foresee handmade cards through the year,
when you hand the set over
and come to realise something strange
the rainbow is now in technicolour.
How about, instead, pick a full pen and an empty notebook
and find a pair that will last,
with the pen tuck safely in the notebooks folds
coming out only for a task.
Together, they are a team
together, they are infinite
they can help you make an impression
lasting and permanent.
Note: When you walk into a bookstore was performed at the main Kinokuniya store in Singapore as part of a Singlit Station event of pop-up poetry on 17 December 2016. The piece was also commissioned for the event.
When you walk into a bookstore by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.