Plastic straws constitute 2% of all marine pollution.

In 2018, Starbucks had 4.52 billion USD in earnings.

There were an estimated 793,000 suicides in 2016.

Last year, 40,000 Americans were shot to death.

That’s almost one for every tweet Trump has made.

27,000 species are threatened by extinction today.

It has been 86 days since I left the apartment.

To keep the rise in global temperatures below 1.5C

carbon dioxide emissions must be halved by 2030.

There are 7 bus stops from the station to my house.

The newly-built flats all seem to be 13 stories tall.

As of June 27, there are 5,886,779 Singaporeans,

of which there are 2.6 psychiatrists every 100,000.

In 1930, the last wild tiger in Choa Chu Kang was said

to have been gently shot to death in a billiard room.

Since 2017, 9,204 people were shot in Gaza, three

times the number of local drug-related arrests.

The Suicide Prevention Resource Centre estimates

that the average cost of a suicide is $1,329,553,

97% of which was due to lost productivity.

8.6% of the world lives on less than 2 dollars a day.

A SAR-21 rifle comprises 5 major subassemblies.

I cannot divorce myself from the memory of having

held one, its bosom warm with a spent round’s echo.

The global population of rhinos has fallen by 96%.

In the past 23 months, 9 people died in the army.

In order to save 1000 KG in carbon emissions

Greta Thunberg sailed 3,500 nautical miles.

She was called an ignorant teenage climate puppet.

Last year, there were 8.36 suicides per 100,000

Singaporeans and I can’t help but wonder how

many of them were called stupid on the Internet.

Whenever I think of numbers, I imagine counting

the number of incisions it takes to slaughter a cow.

I think of evidence markers like placeholders for

crosshairs that haven’t appeared yet. Currently

the global GDP is projected to be 88 trillion USD.

That can only buy 174,600,000,000 AR15 rifles,

plant 109 trees for every living person on Earth,

clear the ocean of pollution 6769 times,

buy enough rope to wrap around the Earth

25,692,591 times, end poverty 25 times over,

plant a flower for everyone who has ever died.

My initial concept was to use a far more systematic list of world statistics—to try and capture this sense of global melancholy that pervades the news, this “coded message” of the modern-day era, and by extension every tweet, every headline, every new statistic. To some extent, the poem also seeks to challenge the “coding” of what makes a poem, through its onslaught of numbers.