A Love Song

I can still smell you,

On the sweater you left behind,

At the rim of the cups lying unwashed,

The last dregs of the too sweet coffee you liked,

On the bed that you slept in,

On my skin.


I feel like I’ve woken up from a bad dream

And forgotten how to go back to sleep.

Though my eyelids lure me into darkness,

My mind tells me I cannot sleep without

Your lips grazing the back of my neck.


All the spaces you’ve left keep distracting me;

I watch my life pass by from a distance.

I am too numb to run with the others

When all I can think about

Was how close your mouth was to my ear

As you sang to me, again and again.

How to Fall Apart

You do it slowly, agonizingly

Remember the past as if it was

Another life, until it becomes so.

Realize that a photo changes

Every time you look at it.

Watch your phone, waiting

For it to ring, for loved voices

To fill your life with their stories,

And sigh when the phone never rings.

Sit somewhere solitary, probably with a view

Of an orange sunset fading into purple.

Feel parts of you that you thought were true

Leaving you, and feel the burn of it,

Like a bruise you realize you had

Only when it stings you while bathing.

Pin your expectations on something hazy,

Like people, or conversations, or the past,

And tell yourself again and again,

Life is not how you want it to be,

But still keep hoping for it to be.

My Mother

My mother-

She sees her face blurry in the mirror

Her doublechin is endless.

She doesn’t dare look into her eyes.


My mother-

She remembers her laughter as another life

The trees, animals, rocks, brooks, so unreal.

Her daughers? Do they think of her? Definitely

Not as much as she thinks of them, not even close.


My mother-

The garlic stinks under her fingernails

Hands once soft, now resemble the scrubbing brush.

The milk boils and she lifts the kettle with her bare hands

Nothing burns her anymore.


My mother-

What are her dreams, her secret thoughts, her sighs all about?

Nobody asked between dinner and washing dishes.

Now her eyes are tired, but nobody is there to see.

The people she want are far away, or lost behind hazy glows.


My mother-

Sometimes she is so faint

I fear she will vanish with her next breath.

Bedtime Story

Let me tell you a bedtime story.

A story which began a long long time ago

In a faraway place, hidden deep inside

Called the heart.

The heart led a happy life:

It would be happy as long as it listened

To her wise mother’s words, “Dear Heart,

Never visit your ugly neighbour, Memory”.

But one day Heart leapt across the gate

And paid a visit to Memory,

And this bedtime story is about

The sad results of this visit.


This is a story about happy eyes

That turned dull, of smiles frozen,

Of days that dragged by, of

Forgettable people and fleeting joys.


This is a story of numbness

And an all surprassing loneliness:

Of dejection, and a constant

Dull ache right below the skin.


It’s about always feeling cold,

The tips of your fingers constantly freezing,

About laughter and words sounding distant

And never experiencing a moment of silence.


Oh, do you not want to hear this story?

Then go to sleep, darling. But remember,

Sleep isn’t a safe place anymore;

That’s where those hands always find you.


One day, I hope not to wait

Watching as you erase  me

In new faces, places and stations.

I do not want to always hear

Your hurried goodbyes, two and a half minute

Long conversations about how busy you are,

While your friends laugh in the background.


I do not want to watch my days go away

As I watch my phone to make it ring,

My decision to be cold and not pick up

Evaporating the moment I hear your hey.


One day I hope to be you

Letting places and people push me around

Then I will not have to try

To make you a memory, it would be too easy

To forget you in the time I am busy.



The Mouthless Woman

The drip of a leaky tap

Has turned into a gush of blood.

I am terrified of time:

Its malevolent, fickle movements.

The night no longer embraces me

In its absolute blackness:

I can hear all of its voices now.

I fear if I turn just an inch,

They will tear my skin off.


I find myself being afraid

Of so many, many things.

I am so full of secrets.

History’s pull is stringer now

I dare not imagine a future

Rid of yesterday’s scratches and screams.


I fear I will turn

Into the mouthless woman

Decked in her father’s sweat

And her mother’s tired expectations.

The mouthless woman is dangerous:

She lets him have her life.

More importantly, when she finds a voice

It will only say, “Keep your eyes down, dear”,

“Do not provoke them, daughter”,

Or worst, “you’ll grow up to be just like me”.

I Don’t Want Your Pride

You said you were proud of me

I do not want that.

I don’t want your praise

When I do what you approve of.

If my actions sometimes cross over

To your neatly structured plans for my life,

That is only a coincidence, not a deliberate realignment.


I don’t want you to be proud

Pride is dependent on so many fragile conditions

That I will surely disappoint,

Or make myself bitter in making you smile.


I don’t want your pride

I want your hugs on a tired day:

Gently rub my arm as you press me to you

And let me know it’s fine, humans fail too.