Take away a reader’s books
or an artist’s brush.
Take away a musician’s instrument
or a singer’s voice.
Take away a writer’s pen
or a dancer’s ability to move.
Take these things away and
you steal all of their souls.
There is no in between.
I didn’t notice it then
but you left parts of yourself
in places I used to call comforting.
I wondered whether it was incidental
or something purposeful, just so
I can no longer find serenity when
I am this close to quitting.
Your laughter lurked near the oak
table of the cafe round the corner,
and I found the allure of your eyes
behind my old bathroom mirror.
Our songs slipped into Starbucks’
speakers when I pass by after work,
and I saw the books you bought
displayed at Barnes & Noble.
You left parts of yourself in places
I could easily see.
But I picked them up slowly,
and now they too, are parts of me.
The paper stole all the words
from her sullen fingertips, as
ink bled on the silent cries
reverberating from her chest.
Her wishes were written neatly,
line by line, curves per curves.
They were scrawled on eyelashes,
11:11s, open wells and falling stars.
“I wish for yesterday to let me go,
for the present to hold me closely
and for the future to seduce me;
so I know that tomorrow has kept
hopes and smiles to welcome me.”
I ran today,
at a speed that
barely hit the mark,
and miles that
didn’t quite suffice.
But for the first time,
in the longest time,
I am no longer
Crimson encroach the asphalted roads as
the putrid smoke filled their lungs and eyes,
ears ringing from panic, noise and blood.
I’m losing hope.
Gore haunts the scene while my scythe’s noise
are drowned by screaming sirens and rushing
footsteps, like disjointed crowds. This is work but
I’m losing hope.
Faces emerged from the sea of limbs and epiphany
struck like dauntless dreams. The footsteps were
walking to extend help. The world are filled with heroes
Amidst the smoke and pandemonium, I smiled.
For in the face of maniacal shadows, light shone through.
It was stronger than the darkness and stronger than the pain.
It was hope and it was love, and it was the beauty of
a human soul, where goodness remain.
You promised to hold my hand and heal the scars on places
where no one could see. Blood red anger flashed before my
eyes and feelings of betrayal spilled on my uncombed tresses.
You weren’t where You swore you will be. I could no longer see You,
could no longer feel You, could no longer hear Your voice speaking to me.
Loneliness begets sadness, and I stood alone in the darkness,
where I shied away from Your light and happiness no longer waited.
“You promised to be there for me! You promised! You’re just like
everyone else! You never mean anything you say”, I screamed
while my tear streaked face was twisted in confusion and agony.
Instead of conviction and equally harsh words,
You greeted me with the warmest hugs and a soothing voice.
“My child, I was there for you.
When your heart was broken, I sat beside you while you wept.
When your parents fought, I read the letters written on your chest.
When you felt alone, I stood by you until you fell asleep.”
“Liar! Then how come I never felt You, or saw You, or heard You?”
“You never saw me because you only saw your anger. You never heard me because you only listened to that voice inside your head. You never felt me because in the midst of your anguish, your pain became my pain.”
Tonight I’m filled with hope
and His endless grace because
when I close my eyes, I know
that I am loved.
It Wasn’t My Fault
Inebriated and carefree, smelling of jasmine and raspberries and
the distinct aroma of dry martinis. Loud music reverberated the
room as differently hued lights washed my face—green, yellow, red.
People skimmed my skin just as the short skirt embraced my slender
curves. Drunk from liquor and noise and the touch of his fingertips,
I felt his lips touch mine. Soft then wild, tender then savage.
Desire sparked his eyes; I could see it beyond the blurry fog brought
by five glasses of martini. He pulled me inside the men’s bathroom,
and everything was a rush of graffiti and cinder blocks. I want to lie
down and sleep on my soft, little bed but he thought differently when
I felt his hand peel off my dress and his fingers gingerly graze my
inner thighs. No, I thought. I don’t want this. I didn’t want this. No, I
utter this time. He looked up, smiled and continued to touch me.
Fight, my brain urged. No, I screamed. I fling back his hand and attempt
to run away. But he was too strong and I was too drunk and the room was spinning. No, I scream again. Run, run, run. Fight, fight, fight.
“Stop fighting. You asked for this, bitch.” I bit my lip and asked, “When?”
“This is all your fault”, he whispered in my ear. “You asked for this”.
I was weak and the deed was done. He left me in the bathroom stall,
naked and hungry and marred. I could feel his fingers like tattoos on
my skin, burning and smarting. I attempt to look decent and walked out
with a mascara streaked face. I could feel the words stab me in the back.
It’s her fault. She asked for it. Why wear that short skirt? Why wear that
low cut top? She could have fought back. I stagger and slip, knees on
the pavement, bloodied and bruised. It wasn’t my fault, I whisper. I said
no, again and again. I fought back. That should have been enough.
She closed her eyes, and saw his fingers
tangled with her hair. She breathed in
the summer breeze, and smelled
his perfume with the waft of air.
She felt the warm, coarse sand
underneath her feet, and felt
his hand massaging her toes.
She drowned with the throes of
ocean waves, and tasted the flavor
of his lips after every shuddering kiss.
I read a book once that spoke of multiple dimensions
and the uplifting hope of multiple happenstance. It was
as if your voice echoed through the pages, surging
underneath the paragraphs and semicolons, asking me
to go on, to laugh and wake, and smile and cry, to live,
I could have sworn you stood by my side while I wept with
raucous intensity, while I could see the fire of your
hair and the sensuality of your lips among the blur and
the cobwebs of a miserable Saturday night.
Thoughts of you were as much comfort as the
tears captured by the rundown carpeted floor while
anger slammed into my chest, revolting and vile
Why would you want me to live
when you chose to die, when I’m alone and the
explosions of your memories kill me slowly anyway?
Why should I live for you
I heard you whisper then, faint but volatile.
‘Because the world want me to live when the most
that I could do was exist and I could no longer
We were careless, impulsive.
The hallmarks of frenzied
youth and unbridled hopes.
You kept the shadows
at bay, and I brushed
the cobwebs away.
I wished on a fallen
eyelash while you hoped
on a falling star. Little did
we know, those moments
foretold of things yet to come:
falling tears, falling respect,
and falling out of love.
The leaves will wither
when it can no longer take
the weight of living.
—March 15 Haiku
i used to think that the stars were our guides,
that they would welcome us home
whenever we lost our way.
remember the constellations we learned
that one night when we slept on the dock,
and we watched the indigo skies until
our lashes fluttered and sleep took us away?
i used to think those moments will last forever,
until I learned that forever was just another lie.
we woke up one day and forgot our first kiss,
and the stars shone brightly like the first day.
they’re reminders now, of what we once were,
that night we tiptoed on the sand and laid on
the hammock we tied on a low slung branch.
we lost our way though the stars kept twinkling,
as if it didn’t know that the world just ended when
we said goodbye
I can no longer hide the darkness
under my bed covers.
They spill onto my pillows,
throwing a cascade
of shadows on my lips
and the arches of my spine.