COVID Companions is a series of creative pieces featuring snippets of life during COVID-19, with a special focus on the other individuals or creatures who are keeping us company during quarantine, lockdown, ‘circuit breaker’, or whatever your equivalent might be.

I see, therefore my head exists.
Which means: while I cannot see my head,
it is incontrovertibly there.

The real unease is with what more
I sense: how something or someone else
may be seeing through my eyes.

Something or someone else is
certainly speaking through my lips
(which also exist):

Let’s keep Singapore healthy.

Who but I can testify that
nothing has been said? Everyone, myself
included, hears me say now:

For your own safety and for those
around you, please stand at least one
metre apart. Thank you.

Someone is making me walk
on the grass and hobble on the tracks.
I ought to be pouncing or frolicking.

Instead, I feel my knees bend to go
elsewhere when all day I am just moving
in cautious circles, achieving nowhere.

Did I choose to roam this garden?
If I did, I do not recall nor do I wish to be
alone – I am nonetheless here.

It is starting to feel that all my
meaninglessness incline towards hope
and a purpose that are not mine.

Even all I experience is being stored
against my will. It would be foolish to think
I own my memory the moment I sleep.

Gwee Li Sui is a poet, a graphic artist, and a literary critic. Learn about his work at