Hindrance

I heard that you had been back to visit the old town where we grew up and shared our first secret. It has been years since I counted the seasons the pear blossoms covered the laneway to our sweet youth. You always picked the snow white blossoms out of my hair, and I always searched your soul from your dark eyes. Time was a forever concept back then. We were never hurried to grow up while we glued to each other. The Southern biting cold was our excuse to be skin close and breath mingled. I still remember the sweet green apple taste in your mouth.

I haven’t been back for years, probably since the day of your wedding. All I remember was my world came to an end that day. I can’t remember how I managed to sweep up my broken heart and keep going, how I made it to the city, how I started to be a different version of me who is a stranger to me till this day. People say love hurts. Perhaps I didn’t experience the hurt because love died.

The train is coming in eleven minutes. I need to get on this train to make it to grandma’s funeral. For the first eighteen years of my life, grandma was my rock and my shelter. I failed to visit her all these twenty years, and missed the chance to say goodbye. For that, I hate you. I hate your careless decision and it rob me of the ability to keep loving. This hurts. It really hurts. It hurts so much that I have to step out of my own body to avoid the pain.

The clock on the platform is counting down. I see a grown woman sitting alone sobbing. Her face is contorted by grief or pain which I can’t differentiate. She looks so small and helpless. The door opens. I get on the train and sit by the window, keep watching her. Soon she is fading into only a smudge. I wonder what is stopping her to board this train, and why she is so sad.

Deep in the Woods


The woods has memories

The flaxen sun plaited into the canopy of greens
Playful feet dipped in the cool stream
Lilac wildflowers witnessed their promises

The woods has memories

The trees whispered her name
He raged against the tree bark
Broken knuckles, virgin blood
The old well filled with tears
Covered by mossy sorrow

The woods has memories

A lost boy mourned his love
trapped in the woods
stuck in the loop of time
The trees whispered their names

CD

I have kept this CD player
with our love story
hidden in the tracks
in case
you come to this cafe
again
we will share our love for music
just like the old days
before everything fell apart

Until then
I have no reason to revisit
the path we strolled along
hand in hand
sharing earphones
dancing to the beat
of our love songs

I wonder
will you blush
like you've always been
when you hear it plays
will you still
turn up the volume
trying to drown out
our heartbeats

I wonder
will I finally
allow myself
to break down
when realise
how much
I'm still
loving you

Forgiveness

This poem is dedicated to my fellow Instagrammer who survived Covid-19 but lost her mother in India. 🙏

Mama
do you remember
we spent long hours
on talking about my future
choice of men
ways to raise my children
and you would be
by my side
to guide me
to help me

Mama
that became just
fractions of memory
all of the sudden
took me by surprise
in such a violent way

I once was a soaring bird
with wings you gave me
Now
I am faltering
failing
falling so ever low
touching the pit
of my existence

Oh Mama
do you remember
you spent hours
on comforting me
nursing my wounds
restoring my strength

But Mama
when you needed me
I was too weak
to look up
I was too engrossed in
my own battle
I lost sight of you

Mama
forgive me

Sinking stone

We farewelled with a hug
after a lazy beach day
I complained about
your sweaty hot skin on mine
your breath burned my earlobe
I dived straight back in the sea
to cool off

When the police kicked down
your apartment door
you laid on the warm floor tiles
bathed in the hot afternoon sun

The coroner released you
in a numbered bag to the holding room
1-5°C was ideal for you

I stood staring at you
in front of the open casket
You looked cold and distant
took no notice of the flush pink
plastered on your face

All the eulogy givers tried so hard
to warm up the service with dead jokes
to comfort the mouners with inconsolable stories
to celebrate your life with cruel death’s doing

You are now a chill stone
tied around my ankle
sinking me forever into the deep blue
withholding your hot sweat
and burning breaths