maybe that is why words no longer roll off
my impatient tongue
and spill across blank pages like sunlight adorned with the oddities of a kaleidoscopic heart.
Instead, I am drowning in debris,
shattered glass and cheap neon beads,
mirror shards reflect my inability
to colour these heavy, broken dreams.
stale stories drip and smear into sameness, inky disappointments
always fades to black, they
pool under hunched shoulders,
no wings or will to reach the
surface, swirling storms of
lost letters brush against the rib cage, – shut up, give up, not good enough – jarring words hook into the bone
and pulls my milky irises and emptied mind
beyond the reach of the pale moon light
here is where the small-fry,
in all the glory of obscurity lies.
her footsteps echo through
another nameless tunnel
in this concrete maze,
all the lost ones, left searching.
the train rumbles above
towards its destination,
as inevitability echoes around
the thought of destiny, it ricochets
in her shaking fingertips
passing through flesh, bubbling the blood
sinking into brittle bone but doesn’t quite
pierce the soul, she is so afraid of others
but also the dark, of herself,
and of death, leaving no mark.
nobody is born a voyeur
but life told her she is not a voyager –
so what else can she do but wrap the strands
of strange, perfect lives around her like
golden silks embedded with ruby stories
pretend to be the empress in her
borrowed robes, she quieten the child
who wants to shatter these delusions,
and let the rainbow light dance off her skeletons –
what to be when waking feels like being asleep,
nothing to see but these false and wonderful dreams.
I learnt my first 儿歌 over a
long-distance phone call as 妈妈
sat under the southern cross,
halfway around the world.
she sang about 一闪一闪的
小星星and I wonder if she
ever wished upon these flickering
lights to 再次 share the same sky
with the mother and daughter
she was forced to leave behind.
almost two decades later,
three generations 团聚在,
the same roof 下, but my
memories of 金色的 stars
cast across 陌生的 sunset
have become hazy, even
in slumber, my anglicised tongue
has become better at tying
knots into cherry stems than
imitating my grandmother’s songs.
though our worlds have finally
spun into alignment, our eclipsed
hearts leave us fumbling, strangers,
lost, in the dark.
I learnt my first nursery rhyme over a long-distance phone call as mother sat under the southern cross, halfway around the world. She sang to me twinkle twinkle little star and I wonder if she ever wished upon these flickering lights to share the same sky once again with the mother and daughter she was forced to leave behind.
Almost two decades later, three generations sit together under the same roof, but my
memories of golden stars cast across an unfamiliar sunset have become hazy, even in slumber, my anglicised tongue has become better at tying knots into cherry stems than imitating my grandmother’s songs.
Though our worlds have finally spun into alignment, our eclipsed hearts leave us fumbling like strangers, lost, in the dark.
one day, a lonely boy
builds a dingy raft
out of empty vodka bottles
and sets out to sea, so he
does not have to see
straight, ever again.
he prays for merciless waves to
crash and roar, overwhelm the silence
of strangers on the shore too afraid of
getting their toes wet, he wants to drown out
the whispers of wayward ghosts luring
him into the murky depths of despair.
maybe the wind can carry his listless
body to shore or at worst salt-water can
hug his lungs and sting the open wounds
of his heart like hickeys or lighting,
forecasting the long overdue iris rain.
The last time I fell
out of love was the
first time I stepped
into a shisha bar.
After the smoke cleared
and mirrors disappeared,
your silhouette stood stark
against the charred stars
and you gifted that bright
crescent smile to your tiny
light brick, as my mouth
filled with soot-stained
I learned how vast the universe
could be through the centimeters
of infinite space between our
barely brushing shoulders.
You held the milky way
in your lungs so effortlessly
as I choked on the aftertaste
of faint, artificial strawberries,
to think I held my breath hoping,
that you or us could be real.