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I bawl myself to a deep sleep every night,
Because no one can hear my cries in the sunlight.
They may be desperate dewdrops that stop at the sight of a morning glory,
But labels are strong, they fight to be released, they scream a different story.

I look into my mirror at my tear stained face after a long day of smiling,
I shriek with guts of agony “I’ve had enough of life and this senseless dwelling!”
I dream to be woken up a person without my infections,
It’s not a simple journey of accepting our imperfections.

I have notebook pages of secrets,
They are deathly unexposed spirits.
Poems upon poems of my invalid emotions,
Sealed in my mind, avoiding firework explosions.

Boys still don’t like me, I was promised the love of my life, where is the tragical romance?
That every movie character seemed to have along with an invite to the prom dance.
All I have is a huge crush, that’s a cross off my checklist,
On a certain someone who doesn’t even know I exist.

Wasn’t something special supposed to happen when I turned 16?
I’m myself, and so is my world of blue skies and grass of green.
Joy was kept limited, gloom was gifted,
And my mind was an eclipse, afflicted.

My future is all to displease,
Bad people have good destinies.
I’m not pure, but can’t I have ease?
Good people have bad destinies.

Friendship is a game, how can I escape a toxic friend?
I’m being used, but somehow shes manages to make amends.
First an innocent gesture, followed by a rude remark.
Bashing my weaknesses and embarrassing my test mark.

Walking down the school hallway is a fashion show display of my insecurities.
Suddenly I feel everyone staring at my face, my body, my hijab, I freeze.
My differences are like the scent of crushed cumins, they can’t leave me.
Don’t draw attention to myself, fit in! I must become the bully!

Throw on the same clothes they are wearing!
The same shoes they own, and start swearing!
For I can’t be seen as an original,
Only a clone, not an individual.

Throw it away, your originality,
Your colours, and become the normality.
Learn to conform to society’s way of living,
Unless you want to be nothing but brightly hidden.

How is she so pretty, so effortlessly perfect?
Why don’t I look like her? She receives so much respect!
Why cant I be perfect? Why can’t I be enough?
But I’m only human, and so is she, I’m only strong because I have to be.

I’m dreaming about my 10th grade crush while I’m on the school bus,
Fantasizing things that will never happen, I wish I had the guts!
I feel foolishly youthful and bare,
A life behind me, and so much to spare.

I stay awake counting seconds till it’s 3 am,
Laying in my bed amongst emotional mayhem.
My empty mind rekindles my regrets whilst burning.
I wonder if it’s worth waking up in the morning.

My parents can’t seem to understand my emotions,
It’s the same with my brother, I’m completely broken.
How can I spill these difficult feelings,
If no one here believes they have meaning?

No one is willing to listen to my story,
Too afraid to step inside my territory.
I’m a lonely wanderer in this galaxy,
My head hung low, no real friends or family.

Being 16 isn’t about the unrealistic paradise of adolescence,
It’s not about eternal happiness, a cute boyfriend, and a gazillion friendships,
It’s about all the nights you’d cry yourself to sleep amongst an internal tsunami,
And learning to accept the original masterpiece and not the printed copy.

16 years of life,
And 16 years of the bittersweet.
Decades left to discover,
And 16 years to cherish.

16 candles and counting.
From my birth,
The dawn of life,
You didn’t think twice,
About the name I was handed.
A label I didn’t quite understand,
But I wore it on my head obliviously.
Heedless of the might and lavish worth,
I lusted after less dominant titles.
Behind that label I wore so cluelessly,
Was the dictionary definition,
Of a title I wasn’t pleased with.
“A queen who rules”,
A name handed to me,
Like a crown given by accident.
Strange, zany, unattractively odd,
My name was supposedly nothing but bizarre.
I loathed my name,
And weighed it to others.
Oh the girls named Sarah,
Their names would always ascend above me on society’s scale,
With its pretty chime departing from the lips.
Oh the girls named Sarah,
All these years I craved for your name,
I wanted to be the princess that you were,
But now I know,
I am power,
The game changer,
In the complicated game of chess,
That we call life.
Pondering back to Persian origins,
I remain the name for the queen,
The most powerful piece in chess.
I learned that I am no princess,
When my name means queen.
I am reclaiming my name,
And I will live up to my title.
Sarah may surpass me,
But I rise up on scales,
Of meaning.
Farzeen Rashid Dec 2019
A lonesome girl,
Cursed by life.
Her eyes veil mysteries,
And she maliciously grips a knife.
  
Her aggression in the form of a knife,
Lay by her at the hush of night.
The gruesome darkness at witching hour,
Casts a spell of overdosing devour.
  
A swamp of her own apprehensive emotions,
Like a wordlessly wild, deserted ocean.
The cascade of satisfaction under every breath.
While viciously planning a sudden death.
  
They spat at her face and told her she's worthless,
Didn't they know that she's been down feeling hopeless?
They made her existence an eternal hell,
And eventually down this rabbit hole she fell.
  
A knife, fiercely sharp like her majestic mind.
Her wrist, delicately fragile like her heart; hideously blind.
She hears the sirens of her heart,
Her veins bleed ink, and everything falls apart.
  
Her thoughts resemble a psychotic,
One cut wasn't enough, oh how so idiotic!
Her soul shrieks for sweet sympathy,
Every uttered word breaks down in a howl dizzily.
  
Her pain is freed,
She watches herself bleed,
Her heart stops its beating rhythm, so oddly.
Her melancholy soul leaves her wounded body.
  
She quit her life,
By a kitchen knife.
Another suicide down in history,
And her name still remains a mystery.
It drizzles of heavenly droplets,
Trickles of new perceptions fall breezily from the clouded sky above.
You aren’t menaced by a downpour of rain,
Though you clasp an umbrella in your palm.
You’re willing to let these riveting showers soak your face,
And with a welcoming outlook,
You clutch your umbrella upside down,
Cradling the open canopy in your arms like a newly born baby.
You watch your world in your palms,
As the torrent of rain creates a swimming pool inside of your umbrella.
These remarkable ideas,
Fill up your world.

You watch as the wild blue yonder fogs with a flurry of grey,
And the sky erupts a spill of rain.
You deem the drizzle to be threatening,
And so very infuriating.
You don’t long to be drenched,
By the rainstorm of clashing beliefs.
You’re pure from mismatching difference,
And through a sensation of fear,
You hastily carry your umbrella high.
It shields you from the surrounding world,
Swamped by the cloudburst.
Your world shelters you,
From everything that is unfamiliar.
The showers of jarring minds tumble from the sky,
Through unease you dismiss them with your own world,
Your shielding umbrella canopy,
And protect yourself from difference.

In the distance you see a figure,
Drenched by the sky’s showers.
She’s carrying her world upside down,
Filling it with the rain that plummets from the sky.
The figure smiles,
And her beaming expression speaks of joy.
Her open mind,
Lead her to happiness.
One day,
I’ll be there.
Amidst a wave of hundreds of men and women,
A mingle of foreigners and natives,
Standing on green meadows of turf,
Gazing in wonder at the alluring Eiffel Tower.
Daydreaming of appetizing French bagels,
Whilst carrying sacks filled to the brim of brightly coloured macaroons,
And saying things like “j'aime beaucoup la France”,
And “une autre baguette s'il vous plait”!
Sensing a slight breath of wind heave me away,
I’ll be drawn back by the classical folk melody blessing the air.
The Eiffel Tower will stand vigorously,
Though I’ll persist to collapse every time I catch a glimpse at the winsome sight.
Pointing at the heavens,
Reminding me of where blessings fall from,
And dreams come true.
That little while my face will beam like a ray of sunlight,
My spirit will be in bliss,
And I’ll smile as I watch my fantasies become the truth,
Towering above me.
One day,
I’ll be there.
Devouring precious words,
Extraordinary text,
Once hidden in a treasure chest,
Inside of a stranger’s mind.
The crisp scent of a new book,
A collection of poems,
The key to someone’s mind and striking soul.
You force yourself into the marshy boots of a young girl residing on an ancient farmland field,
You feel the sunlight soaking your face,
As you pluck strawberries from the leafy shrubs,
And ride a horse across the endless meadows to taste liberty.
You inhale the air of their world,
That lives exclusively in your mind.
A world of ecstatic glee,
And shed distressed teardrops for all their little world’s sadness.
You’ve teleported into a different realm,
Following the flow of beautifully chained words,
And letting your imagination run free.
You are living in the life,
A poet once dreamed.
Never ending torment, like a thousand blades darted at me, for the stamp punched on my forehead, this system gifted me.

Erupting laughter and objectionable glances, jabs me till I bleed. Your bundles upon bundles of envy that you hurl at me concealed behind that word, digs deep into my bare skin. They leave behind wounds.  But when I make an effort to become you so I can amuse you and your parallels, you fire another bullet and call me a wannabe.

Raising my palm in class for all the answers magnetizes your resentment, cloaked behind the bullets that sit on your tongue. My admiration for education is granting me hostility instead of praise.

Detrimental destruction is achieved on my end of the bullet, it’s more than just a label, sticker, or a foolish petty name. I’m broken all because of you and your stupid phrase.
2 crinkly blue,
Birthday balloons.
Teeming with helium,
Floating in your room.
Lightbulbs began blinking,
As I captured a brilliant idea,
And shared it with all of you.
We scampered to find scrap paper in your drawer.
I dug up a pen and you rooted out a Sharpie,
We hurried to jot down something witty.
A secret message we thought,
We shared our cake of mind,
As we thought it was crazy.
“We must write something historic!”
“Something idiotic but also incredible!”
“We’re going to be famous!”
They praised my handwriting,
Whilst I composed our secret message,
And signed using all our first names.
We speedily rushed to link our secret message to the balloon,
And squabbled about where it should go.
I thought tied to the end of the string would be good,
But you proposed directly on the balloon,
So I settled and agreed.
We struggled to tape it,
And realized midway,
Our message was double sided!
Laughing it off we kept going,
We scurried outside to your backyard,
And stood under the cloudless blue sky.
The 4 of us grasped the string together,
And we let it go up into the heavens.
Like a ghost the balloon awkwardly danced in the sky,
Until it soared.
We laughed and screamed,
We stumbled and watched it fly,
Until it was far,
Far away.
We waved goodbye at the tiny twinkling blue dot in the sky,
And hoped whoever found it,
Would smile.
The mirror will shimmer,
When it sees your rapturous face and it’s graceful glimmer,
But the hearts of many will shatter.
Oh the impeccable humans,
They will shiver,
With full body quivers,
When they recognize everything you do,
And say,
To hurt someone.
Beautifully ugly.
A mirror reflects what you look like on the outside,
And your actions,
They reflect what you look like,
And who you truly are,
On the inside.
I can’t stop thinking,
Of everything.
This despair,
It’s chasing me.
And this heartache,
It’s swallowing me,
Leaving me somber,
With a heavy heart.
My head is clouded,
By the memories.
I’m being walked down an aisle,
Of all the blissful thoughts,
They are causing me painful agony.

I’m being compelled to flee,
The dazzling place I love,
The land I’ve lived,
All these years,
13 long years.

We have to abandon,
The place where we’d take seasonal pictures,
Under the cherry blossom trees in spring,
And amongst the sheer-white landscape in the winter.
How can I wave good bye,
To all the good times,
And all the bad times,
Night and day,
And those embarrassing complex barbecues?
How can I?
To the summers we’d play soccer and badminton,
Under the brightly blue sunlit skies,
Of July.

How can I watch my home,
Transform into a skytrain station?
Hundreds of little humans,
Insignificant little things,
Boarding trains,
On the same grounds we used to play.
They won’t ever see the history,
Of the land they’ll be standing on,
Hidden beneath the station,
Long vanished,
Abandoned.
It’s the place I grew up.
I’m sitting in my playroom,
One day I won’t have a playroom,
Because my playroom will soon be a sky train station.
You can take away my house,
But never my home.
This is my home,
You can make us go away,
But you can’t ever ****** the memories,
Or the love it’s ingrained in my heart.

Though it is a townhouse,
A modestly small,
Simple,
Superficial townhouse.
I grew up being nothing but the shy townhouse kid,
Teased for living in a small house,
Teased for playing in a small backyard,
Teased for not having what other kids had,
My whole life.
My house became my insecurity,
Friends,
And family,
I didn’t want them to come over,
For the fear of me being tediously ridiculed.
I didn’t want another reason,
To hate myself.

Time taught me lessons,
I was taught acceptance.
I didn’t live in a mansion,
So what?
Just as I began to accept living in a small house,
My small,
Insignificant townhouse,
And begin to establish a fondness,
And beautiful love,
For my home,
We’re being forced to flee.

I once said,
I’d trade my house for anything bigger.
I learned,
That bigger isn’t always better.
No other place we’d move,
No other home we’d settle into,
Will feel like home.
Nothing will ever remind me of the wonderfully picturesque sunset,
Except for the one I can see,
From my bedroom window,
Along with all the thunderclouds and rainbows.
The house,
I once hated,
But now love.

Home sweet home.
Do your eyes ever settle,
On something so still,
So intangible,
That your heart of a boulder shatters to grains of sand,
And that mind of a battlefield suddenly transforms to an empty ocean?

An ocean of nothing,
Nothing but a dot.
That dot is an island,
A burning island of flames.
You’re furious,
But you can’t combat a puny flame when your eyes force you to look,
To see what a filthy society can do to someone so colourful,
Turn them to black and white,
They bleed ink.

Why is it that I can’t see the world the same way anymore?
After what the world did to you,
Your colours faded.
I can’t see the colours of the rainbow anymore.

The walls,
They have ears,
And curtained windows,
They have eyes.
Maybe your life was written short,
Nobody lives after the word death is written in their fate.

This life we scorn,
Is a blessing we fail to cherish.
I get to stay here,
It’s my home,
But someone else left,
To find a better a home,
Because it wasn’t safe for them.
Now they’re in a better place,
A better place they can call home.

Every second,
I’m given life,
And every second,
Is a new future to celebrate.

Out temporal world is a clock,
That beating rhythm in your heart is time ticking.
Tick tock,
Moments fade away.
One day the world will stop,
The hands of the beholder will strike,
Your heart’s beat will thunder until,
Your life has ended,
And suddenly it’s time to go.

But sometimes you’re the beholder.
You’ll cut the strings yourself,
The strings attached to the eyewitness’s hands.
You’re a puppet,
Played by an ultimate force,
The master of your destiny.
It is He who decides when the strings should be cut,
When the puppet should be let go of,
Out of the puppeteer’s control.
But you cut the strings yourself,
And you fell,
Like a dead puppet,
To the floor,
A figure so calm.

They wandered the earth leaving invisible footprints.
They were a speck on earth,
But their battles,
They were fierce.
Notably vast for the earth to grapple.

You see,
Life on earth is unfair.
The earth can only juggle a few plenty of people at a time.
You might’ve been unlucky.
The earth couldn’t juggle you,
And eventually this cruel planet let you go.

They too juggled their struggles,
Like bulky stones.
They held them in the air for as long as they could,
But eventually they just couldn’t hold on anymore,
And let go,
Everything crashed.

I’ll graze upon their names,
On grave stones.
And wonder what gave them the strength,
What despicable force,
Resulted in the last breath?
That last breath.

Is it regret,
Or relief,
In that moment between life and death?
Tell me please,
Because when I see your dead body,
I freeze.

You’re someone different,
Someone I never knew.
Your colours are no longer distinguishable,
Why didn’t you tell me, anyone?
Your ache now clouds the rainbow of your shortened life.
Your colours perished and a marshland overtook you.
You’re black and white in my skies of blue,
You’re no longer a rainbow.
I can’t see the colours of the rainbow anymore.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are!
You utter the native tongue of eternity,
When I stopped to speak to you one soundlessly desolate summer night.
Your babbling was beautifully soothing,
Though I heard absolutely nothing.
Up above a world so high,
Staring at millions of diamonds in the sky,  
I suddenly know all the answers to the puzzles.
I gaze up at your blinding twinkle,
And you flaunt me your splendid eyes of hope.
Teaching me that life is further than your numberless worries,
Because tonight the stars are seen.
We couldn’t count the stars for each and every one of our frets,
But we could try for everything we love.
You remind me that our existence is short,
And so very meaningful.
Whenever I feel wretched and in despair,
I stop to stare at the pitch black night sky,
And meet my eyes with you.
It’s the moment our eyes interlock,
That I remember the definition I promised to find in life.
When I look at you,
I think back to what molds my soul,
And discover millions of stars inside.
It was then,
That I found my meaning,
In something that had either several,
Or entirely none.
Twinkle twinkle little star,
How I wonder what you are!
The blinding sun,
Far off,
Beyond the skyline.
I wish I could be in the vicinity of the horizon,
But it always runs away.
The sun is tumbling,
Inch by inch,
As it glints on the blueberry meadows.
We gaze in awe at the rows and rows of mansions,
The mystical castles,
So oversized and spacious.
We look closely at the frosty vanilla ice cream on the mountains afar.
The blueberries are plump,
Bundled jointly,
Desperately waiting to be plucked.
We collect masses in silence,
And watch the jet overhead dance in the sky,
For some reason I have a TikTok song trapped in my head.
We fill shopping bags of blueberries until our arms are worn out and weak,
Tense the bag will tear,
Scattering thousands of blueberries onto the land.
The pickup truck nearby creates a whopping dust cloud,
Making us sneeze uncontrollably.
We clumsily stumble to our truck,
And bathe our blueberry stained hands with the water from our water bottle.
Oh how I dream I can always slip away,
From this mundane,
Urban life,
And live amongst a blueberry farm,
And watch the sun dip below the horizon everyday.
I wish we could launch all our cellphones into a nearby lake,
And inhale the air of mother nature,
And lead a life in the present instead of pondering in the past.
Departing from the countryside,
And revisiting our conventional suburban life.
Oh how I miss it,
The blueberry farm,  
And the quarantine August breeze.
I’m right here,
Next to you,
Remember?
The first chapter of our adventure,
The first day of high school.
I was the soft-spoken,
Awkwardly secluded girl.
You were the rationally nerdy,
Tech sci-fi kind of guy.
Sitting next to you in scimatics,
Wondering when the butterflies would die away,
And longing for you to talk to me.

I mark time,
Just for you.
Craving your return,
To abandon the broken ship you frantically entered.
You thought it would sail,
And soar with the ocean’s tides,
But I saw,
From the twinkle of the sun above you,
With your feet planted somewhere you don’t belong.
I know,
That with your feet on that boat,
Amongst a boundless sea,
Your ship isn’t going anywhere.
You don’t deserve that haven,
That land of the foolish minded.
You’re wise but you’re pretending to be foolish,
For the sake of a fruitless fruit,
Wherever that ship is sailing!
You don’t know that you’re becoming a laughable flop.
You’re worth more,
Than them,
Why are you boarding their ship,
Just to crash and give up your whole life?  

So I’ll wait,
For your ship to crash.
When you’re ready,
I’ll be right here.
You’re the only guy I know,
Who kept a pure heart,
Of goodwill,
And kindness.
I never minded,
Our names being mixed up,
By all of our teachers,
Or the teasing from your friends.
The unease kept me silent,
But inside,
I was squealing of merry bliss.
I always tried to gaze upon you,
One last time.
Find out where you were going to be,
Just to look at you,
And adore you from afar.
Our names were always paired,
They were matching.
You’re always going to be,
Right next to me in the yearbook.
I know,
I can sense it in my bones,
We are soul mates.
You are always going to be,
Right next to me,
More than just classmates,
Or silly yearbook and attendance buddies,
If only this wasn’t just a stupid fantasy,
And more like maybe,
Reality?
If only.

You were changing,
Reshaping your character,
And mirroring their hoodlum style,
While I was loving.
You were moulding,
Into the popular crowd.
Your drive for attention,
And acceptance is alarmingly fatal,
You can’t just jump aboard on their ship of decay!
If only you knew,
I’m watching you,
With eagle eyes,
From the corner,
You’re making a mistake.
That ship will never sail,
Somehow you’re getting it to work,
But I’m praying you’ll learn to swim back to shore,
Once it drowns.
Because I need you,
I want you.

Once you realize,
They were no good for you at all,
And that they were nothing,
Nothing,
But a loss of time,
I’ll be here waiting,
For you to swim back to shore.
That’s the day you’ll know,
You once chased for popularity,
A new name and fresh identity,
But then will come the dragon,
Showing you that not all seemingly good is gold.
His fire will scare you,
Burn down their ship that you were in,
And you will learn to swim,
In the same water your ship was sinking.
That’s why I’ll be here waiting,
For your time to come.
I’ll always be here,
For you.
Your walks at dawn beneath the crisp and cloudless sky,
Gazing at the sunlight,
Toasting your face.
The trickles of water from the garden hose,
Soaking your trousers,
Whilst bathing the tree you planted,
Eight years ago.
Breathing in the present,
And sipping milkshakes,
Of the clashing music of suburban life and the natural world.
Cooking lovely platters for the family,
And smiling when chopping the onions,
Laughing at how the tears burn your eyes!
Staring at the world slip by,
At midnight through the glass of your bedroom window,
The eye to the world you can hold,
And firmly possess.
The stillness at witching hour,
And your grin to value it,
Makes you fall in love with your life.
Laugh at every moment of life,
You’re breathing,
So be in blithe,
Rest your head on cloud nine,
And begin to romanticize the mundane bits of your life.
That is when you will discover,
Everyday casual magic,
In all the jaded things.
Smile when life serves you a flavourless meal,
And celebrate what isn’t normally celebrated.
Tear your curtains off your window,
And let your whole world know,
You’re the main character.
Make everyday life things,
Meaningful.
I was at the bottom,
Of a dreary,
Bottomless pit.
Companionless,
I had to spiral up,
Out of the trench,
Alone.
Pushing myself,
And combating,
The psychological trauma.
I was battling toppling boulders,
With nothing,
Nothing,
But my numb hands,
And my tense mind.
It was as if I found myself,
Once I hit the light,
At the end,
Of a bottomless pit.
I was able to see what I couldn’t see for months,
The bright light,
Of a hopeful future.
I was able to walk,
Away from that pit,
And run,
Run far away from the pit,
But not far enough.
Whenever I turn around,
To reflect on my past,
I can still see that pit.
It always reminds me,
Of how strong I am,
To be able to climb out of a dark place,
Alone.
But whenever I ponder on that pit,
It will be trivial,
And small enough,
That it won’t tug me back in again.
But now,
After running miles,
I can soar.
I was once at the bottom of an infinite pit,
But now I’m flying high,
With the birds.
You’re like a colony of ants,
You disperse all over the levelled grey tiles,
And dumbly pry about in meadows of green grass.
You cluster around my feet once I’ve paced onto the chilly surface of the tiles,
And tickle me annoyingly when I’m barefoot on the turf grass.
At first you don’t look as though you would bite,
Like other creepy-crawly bugs.
You appear itty-bitty,
And undisputedly friendly.
So innocent enough to trust,
Comfortably rest on the ground,
And contentedly loosen up.
But then came your colony,
A swarm of ants each with their own secret weapon.
You bothered me with your insulting remarks,
Bruising my heart with every strike from your spiteful tongue.
Using me for your individual gain,
And shoving me away once you were done for the day.
Your jealousy had turned me into your war zone,
Where you’d fire bullets recklessly.
You came as a disguised friend,
And bit by bit,
You unveiled to me everything that sailed under false colours.
The colony of ants,
They came.
Crawling onto me irritably,
I’m wailing helplessly,
Unable to achieve victory,
Because whenever I push you away,
Stomp on the flock of ants,
They never die,
And you never leave me alone.
Now I’m shrieking,
For all of eternity,
Because I have ants,
Trapped in my pants.
Within my little circle,
This compact ring I call my comfort zone,
Serenity has won over my madness.
I feel tranquil inside the boundaries,
But I feel fretful when I’m shoved outside it.
My manner of existence is like a statue inside this bounding line,
Yet my life will soar once I stride to the skin of this circle,
And the worst part is,
I know.
I’m too tense and timid of the uncertain.
I’m ridiculously spooked of having no border,
No line drawn in thick Sharpie,
No wall made of stone,
To protect me.
Don’t expect me to race towards the stars once I’ve paced outside my consoling district.
All that time inside my home,
My own little galaxy,
I could spot the stars from afar,
I longed to touch them,
But I’d dread going near them.
Expect me to be astray,
And lose a hundred times.
I always won in my circle,
But outside my world with no borders,
Is a galaxy of asteroids,
Prepared to strike me when I’m most vulnerable.
Expect me to adapt and attempt to become contented,
Sketch a new line,
Redefine my comfortable,
Migrate into a new home,
Before I glide towards the moon.
The moment I sit down to write,
I sweep everything else mundane to the rear end of my mind.
Dashing to my wooden desk,
Littered with paintbrush bristles and a mess of star shaped sequins,
I grapple the nearest pencil.
I tear apart an ivory hued paper,
With soft blue stripes from my school notepad,
And gape in awe at the miracles of the two combined.
With empty lines and a sharpened pencil clenched in my palm,
I’m floating amongst a sea of possibilities.
Magic occurs when the pencil is lost in the thick of its words,
And the paper unleashing delightful sighs as it peers at the beauty of messily handwritten art.
I’m left speechless with wonder at the power of the tip of a pencil,
Words don’t fail when I unchain my my mind and let it flood on paper.
I pour out my heart,
Soul,
And mind,
That takes bravery to do,
It’s less painful on paper.
It drenches with the contents spilled from my spirit,
The paper weeps hearing all my woes and aims in life,
But it vows for it all to remain an unknown story.
It silently listens to my intellect and wonders avidly when I’ll treat the empty lines with more of my wisdom.
I’m composing words that dance and sing off my tongue,
Pouring out the hundreds of art canvases trapped my mind,
The expressive metaphors and all the bedazzling imagery,
That paint my repressed emotions,
And everything between the lines.
I write to help me cope,
To touch the world in a different light,
And make me trust that sunshine exists.
I write to untie art wherever possible,
And cherish the written magic.
We’re farther away than ever before,
Our hearts were attached, now split form the core.

A virus hugged you tighter than I ever did,
Why didn’t I say bye before we were forbid?  

Strangely I thought I would never say,
I miss the good ol’ school hallways.

Homeschooling, online assignments, and open book tests,
Burden, muddled sleep schedule, a quarantine mess!

The four walls of our house is our barricade,
From the outside world we left behind so afraid.

Sometimes I begin to stop and wonder, will I ever be able to see you again?
It’s unpredictable, the roaring 20s and their ceaseless games every now and then.

Each month seems to unfold a new bewildered mystery,
But when will this year bring happy news to please history?

Two months gone, oh what joy! It’s been as long as summer break!
At least we got early mornings with honey glazed pancakes.

Underneath a layer of mixed resentment and bliss,
I’m scared, confused, and tense about life and all of this.

I wake up to risen death rates, the hospitalized, and the terminally ill.
First Australia was on fire, World War 3, its only going downhill.  

What about the awards ceremony and my driver’s license? Long overdue.
Will I still be able to take science AP classes or will that be withdrew?

It’s surely not fair for all the graduating classes of 2020.
Imagine waiting twelve years for a diploma and leaving without any.

So I might have once said 2019 was terrible,
But I’m sorry! Take me back! At least it was bearable!

Though these may be very bizarre times indeed,
Try to distract yourself, grab a book and read!  

We are getting there, oh yeah you heard me, we are certainly getting there!
We can get through this, just have faith and agony will diminish, I swear!

Just keep chanting “we’re all in this together!” or something,
Zac Efron assuredly didn’t sing that for nothing!

Though our fingers might not interlock,
Our hearts are tied with a single knot.

I can still see you,
When you’re not around.

I can still feel you,
When miles apart.

A virus might put distance
But never in the heart.
November first,
Twenty thirteen.
She made a choice,
Established upon her Deen

Her felicity blossomed in and out,
Yet apprehensive jitters induced a doubt.

Afflicted of their repellent gaze,
Daunted of their erratic appraise.
Within a clutched mentality,
She anxiously cackles at her rationality.

They claim she is oppressed,
In truth she is expressed.
Her hijab makes her strong,
She knows she is not wrong.

Undeterred by salt water emotions,
She conceals a somber explosion.
Visibly a simper,
Camouflaged a whimper.

Her decision was heavy,
Though she knew she was ready.

Risking entirety,
For singularity.
Veiling her glamor,
To please her Master.
She was still beautiful,
Yet society was questionable.

She is unique.
They are deceit.

Society damaged her.

She is broken,
Accused of religion.
Dimly soft spoken,
Due to her religion.

Cybernated demons torment her,
Trapped in a kingdom of torture.
He was the ultimate silencer,
Her detrimental enforcer.

She sat there sobbing companionless.
A territory brimming with masses,
Attentive of the digital clashes.

She was a smouldering fire,
Deserted in a hellfire.

Still they snickered at his immaturity,
The ignorant class clown’s insecurities.
No indication of guilt,
For the monster he had built.
The egotistical wannabe,
The striver for popularity.

She was mismatched.
Her paradise sealed and snatched.
They ridiculed her devilishly,
So she reformed her identity.

But from the depths of her facade,
She knew.

You can’t erase the colour of your skin,
To please society.

You can’t discard your heritage,
To please society.

You can’t dismiss your identity,
To please society

You can’t torment someone for something they can’t control.

Perfection is an illusion,
Of the eternally damaged.
A diseased scheme,
To condition beautiful creatures,
To conform to fabricated ideals.

To smother a candle’s flame,
You dim the entire room.

To scratch off someone’s surface layer gleam.
You create a deep rooted scar.
That blackens their glistening heart.

A story about a bully,
Written by a victim.
Pacing onto crisp pavement,
After years of childhood bliss.
One step towards my destiny,
Nudging the past to the rear end of my mind.
Sixteen years of breathing,
At last I’m venturing away,
Away from home.
Trickling into the streets of this suburb,
Like water through the gaps in rifts.
Gazing at the lines of houses,
Resting like brick statues before the very eyes of a sunset like fire.
Observing a hound bark at me from the drug addict’s wrecked home,
And men smoking cigarettes,
Just another evening in the suburbs.
Ambling away from the clusters of several children,
Giggling on tricycles with a trail of bubbles following,
And playing with their toy water guns.
I’m departing from the glee,
Because I’m off to grow up,
Fleeing from my early days,
And pacing on the unswerving sidewalk,
To a grinning future.
Marching by the alleys I used to scamper through as a child,
And all the houses I’ve witnessed been constructed from scratch.
I’m eager to leave it all behind,
And race towards my world ahead.
The mourning crows cry as they devour waste from the garbage cans,
The looming cars move steadily into driveways,
Unravelling with families gone to grocery stores.
The sky is brimming with thousands of erupting fireworks,
Of flames and amber explosions.
The crows are chanting a deafening song,
Perched on blinking streetlights.
Reflecting on those past memories,
When they were just my present.
Flopped in a booster seat in the back of my mother’s car,
On my way to elementary school,
The ABC’s embedded in my head,
Back in 2010.
Smiling at that house at the end of the side street,
The one that’s been under construction since 2004.
Oh all the demolished bungalows,
The middle class families and their fixation with building mansions!
Why would they destroy these lovely homes,
Furnished with years and years of a million happy memories,
Just to settle in a vacant house with nothing,
Nothing but work to do,
To make the home a memory aisle.
There’s no point in caring,
Because I’m leaving it all behind.
Wandering on these suburban sidewalks,
I’m walking on a route of golden opportunity,
To an exceptional future.
Trekking away from the immature world of blowing bubbles and untold bicycle bliss,
To a new realm of discovery ahead.
One that entails a ladder to success,
And walking sidewalks to grasp independence.
I can’t wait to go there,
Adulthood,
I can’t wait to grow up.
Meet my destination,
And make a new home there.
But what if I turn back,
What if I change my mind,
And walk back to my childhood and my home?
What if I toss my future out the car window,
And sprint back to my home,
Of laughing children playing soccer on pavement road?
What if I quit this journey,
And miss the chances I never took?
The infinite odds keep me striding forward on my feet,
What will my future hold?
I can see a beam of light ahead,
A glow of freedom.
It inhabits in faraway places,
And I can’t grip it if I abandon this journey and walk home.
Still I fear the obstacles along the way,
I dread failing after struggling so hard,
Is it really worth forgoing this adventure now?
I have to walk,
But back at home all I did was play.
All this work,
Is it worth it?
I miss all the beautiful ordinary things,
The tears that caress these cheeks are filled with grief,
I’m losing everything I once held so spiritedly,
My grip is loosening,
Why have I chosen to let go,
Of my childhood?
The thought of this loss is what’s holding me back from wandering alongside this unexplored road,
It utters to me,
Forcing me to turn back,
And walk home.
I’m unaware of where to go,
My feet have stopped,
And I’m inert and tense.
The flames are now peaceful,
And a black screen gently shades the sky.
It’s getting dim,
Yet constellations haven’t been noticed,
Still the streetlights illuminate the roadway.
Do I walk to my future,
Like balancing on a threadlike rod in the sky,
Or walk back home,
Live merrily once again?
I lay my back on the cold concrete road,
The path of survival,
Where cars come and go.
Resting my head to watch the starless sky,
I don’t care about where I’m going.
I’m left bare minded,
Surrounded by two worlds divided.
Soundlessly laying on the road of survival,
An endless route of dreading destiny’s hurdles,
Deciding to remain a child forever.
I know it’s beyond the bounds of possibility,
To not grow,
So I’m choosing to linger for an obstacle,
And let it crush me softly.
When will a car come and glide,
Over my glum doleful face,
Impairing it in seconds?
When will it come,
So I don’t have to breathe for the coming times,
And the memories that **** me for embarking on this journey,
When will it come so they perish too?
The rain has arrived,
Drizzling from the pitch blackness above.
Now heavily it falls from hellish thunderclouds,
My head rests in a murky pool of storm water.
It’s done,
The journey is done.
All the faith I stored to reach the dazzle of my destiny,
Melted by this torrent,
And my irrational wits,
Shoving me into a thick marsh of beaming memories from the past.
The future,
It’s gone.
I‘m jostled into the sea,
By my own frenzied nonsense.
A dispiriting pit coiling towards demons afraid of sunlight,
Oh the murky underworld,
It greets me.
Do humans sink or float,
When an erratic force knocks them down?
Because I don’t know how to swim.
That unexpected heart beat,
Pounding uncontrollably.
The tense muscles in my face,
And streams of terror oozing from the eyes that wish to be blind.
The heat on my face,
And blood rushing to my head whilst my mind fogs of panic.
Of flushed reddened cheeks,
I fear of dying.
I’m suffocating from unease,
This ocean,
Oh how it’s eating me!
As I descend into a world of gloom,
I give up the fantasies that were too wild and senseless,
And everything beautiful planted in my imagination,
Until I become soulless.
Everything became unreachable,
Once I was thrown into the sea,
That pessimistic pit.
Embarrassment,
It drowned me.
A little garden brimming with years of countless beauty.
The honeybees come to startle me,
With their bothersome buzzing a skip from my ears.
The eight legged ruthless spiders,
Block my path with their creative silky web display,
Dangling erratically in the air.
And the colourless moths that flutter so elegantly around the lawn,
They all make their way,
To my blooming tree.
With smiles as bright as the sun,
I twirl companionless surrounded by the greenery of the landscape.
Nature everywhere sways as my garden hose showers the leafy shrubs,
While a seagull soars overhead.
I soak my four foot tree in a downpour of immeasurable love,
And laugh in disbelief.
Eight years ago you were nothing to me but a dull dwarf sized sapling.
I couldn’t picture a bigger world,
Where life blooms and time changes everything,
I was only in the third grade.
I couldn’t envision ever growing up,
And sprouting dreamed-up wings of freedom.
I doubted Mother Nature and your leafy wings of potential,
But today you showed me,
The moments I long awaited.
The gift of patience,
Is falling in love with your once lifeless uncertainties,
And holding dear to each and every leaf on the evergreen trunk.
I learned to love in these eight years,
And that will always be the greatest gift.
The gift of patience,
Is worth lingering for.
I’ve always been told to walk in uninvited,
Tell my story,
And don’t wait for an open door.
I find that very hard to believe.
I’m fine being by myself,
Alone in a crowd,
And quiet amongst the clique.
Maybe to you I’m a loner,
But I’m a loner who’s happiness doesn’t depend on others.
I’ve tried to walk in uninvited,
And tell my story,
But only then did I decide I was better off waiting for an invitation.
I’m better off alone in the crowd,
But if I am,
It’s like I’m a beat-up book on a bookshelf,
Amongst pristine, mended books with their glossy bindings.
I’ll stand out,
But be broken.
I’ll wait for years,
But never be chosen.
Even though I have a story to tell,
I’ll always be abandoned and alone,
Because no matter how many times you’ve been told otherwise,
They always judge a book by its cover.
When will society cheer the gracious spirit,
Over a conventionally charming mask?
When will we stop adoring what we find at the top,
And start loving what’s underneath the twinkle?
When will we fly with blazing wings away from the fire they caused,
Instead of burning,
And crumbling into ashes?
Living amongst society is like balancing on an ant hill of ice,
Ringed by sharks in frozen water.
There’s an ocean of life beneath you,
Heartless predators and weak prey,
Entitled bullies and lonesome victims,
A bitter society and the clash against festive freaks.
Society will tape your mouth for speaking,
Spit at you for existing,
And fire rocks at you for being original.
Society will wander away from your wounds while they’re crisp,
But come right back during the healing,
And grant you what you needed all along,
A hug.
A bare,
Icy hug.
They’ll tell you to love your bruises,
And embrace your wounds.
So you take the advise,
Of a hypocritical society,
And celebrate your freakish side.
But did no one tell you,
That society is deceitful?
Society will return with more stones to weaken you,
More tape to silence you,
And more spit to frighten you.
The formula for perfection is complex,
Even the perfect are injured by society!
If I have to be deceitful to myself,
To please a senseless society,
I’d rather be hurt for eternity.
I’m strong for being bold,
And I won’t be weakened to conform.
Because you need to fall into the water,
Amongst the sharks,
In order to gain your balance.
She was breathing the Autumn wind,
Beneath the twinkling star of daylight,
Easing her soul,
And leaves painted with stripes of fire,
Fusing the relish within her.
But when the abominable drew near,
It came like a blizzard.
The star of daylight grew dim,
And flakes of colourless dust tumbled from the skies.
The deplorable hour knocked her,
Striking on the skin of her flames.
The leaves began to fade,
And her soul lost its colour.
She was a fragile leaf dangling off of a tree’s upper limb,
The crummy times had hit,
And she toppled from where she once sat beaming at the sun.
She is the colour of a dying leaf,
In the frigid weather of winter.
I am beautiful
Is the greatest lie
I am ugly
Are the words that sputter out of my mouth whenever I look in the mirror
I’m enough
For nobody
I won’t conform to standards
But
I need to in order to be happy
I love myself only because
I’m wearing blankets of makeup
I’ll wash my cloak off and celebrate my flaws when
I’m perfect and have no insecurities to hide
I am myself because
I am happy being a replica
I’m not myself when
I’m alone amongst the crowd
I embrace my freakish side when
Nobody is around and
I don’t listen
When they say I’m ugly
I mould into their words instead
I listen to the people who love me and
I’m allegedly ugly
So no one can tell me that
I am beautiful

(Now read it bottom to top)
You wear a phoney facade,
A persona you dress in to please people.
You wash it from time to time,
When it gets worn out and greasy.
Tossing it into the laundry,
And cleansing it so it can conform to what people fleetingly demand from you.
You’re a people pleaser honey,
You crave the gratification from others,
Because you so desperately want them to like you.
In your wardrobe rests hundreds of clothes hangers,
Holding dozens of prepared outfits.
Turn them topsy-turvy and you’ll find,
A dozen set disguises.  
So many different getups,
For so many different occasions,
A get-together friends party,
Having dinner with family,
And when you’re hanging out with the cool clique.
You’re constantly swapping masks,
When bumping into new people,
Each crowd craving something distinct from you.
All your clothes contain a hue of sky blue,
Even though you resent the tint of blue.
You flaunt it as your favourite colour to conceal your true shades,
You love a splash of rosy pink but blue is ultimately cooler,
So blue is your favourite colour.
When nightfall draws near after a tiresome day of pleasing people,
You carefully fold your laundry.
Vigilantly so the fabric doesn’t rip from your facades,
Because you care a lot about what people think of you.
Settled amongst your laundry and within your closet,
Is a society of countless unique individuals,
But none of them are you.
The people who we thought were our blood,
And our supposed treasures,
Never to be abandoned,
Turn out to be nothing but iron pyrite,
Foolishly mistaken for gold.
It’s funny how these assigned individuals,
Who we’re tied together to so tightly by a single string,
Are meant to be family.
Family,
Hiding behind masks,
And fake personas.
Family,
The label given to people who shouldn’t mean anything to me.
But the mistake starts with mine,
I still don’t know how I was so blind.
Why were my expectations for you,
Above the clouds?
Why were they so high?
And how could I be so naive?
I sacrificed everything,
Just for you,
Because that label,
Family,
Deluded me.
I came to your home,
With a massive heart,
Jammed with all the love I’d packed,
To gift you.
You let me into your home,
And you snatched the love I garnered for you.
You waited for just the right moment,
To vanish.
Scampering to someone else’s home,
And losing all my love,
On the way there.
And when you arrived there,
You snickered,
And ridiculed me,
Leaving me empty,
And alone,
Inside of your bare home.
Why does it seem like nobody truly appreciates us?
And why does family always turn against us?
Why do you laugh at us,
For weeping,
And displaying all of our suppressed rage,
When you were the oppressor,
Our silencer,
All along?
Instead of acknowledging our outrage,
Why do you wait for us to leave,
Once we lose the courage to keep fighting,
Only to pretend to go to sleep,
And instead,
Lock yourself,
As well as everyone else,
All my cousins,
In one room together,
Pretending to sleep,
When you’re really chattering,
Insulting,
And snickering,
About us,
And all our hurt?
All night,
You were gossiping about us,
When we were crying ourselves to sleep in the other room.
How could you wake up that morning,
And talk to us again,
As if we were made of stone?
How can you think that your deep seated hatred could easily be disguised as family love?
Why are you talking s*,
About the expression of the unheard?
We are the unheard,
And you are our silencer.
You can’t fling us into a bottomless pit,
Then question why we’re continually sobbing,
Once we’ve desolately climbed out of the infinite trench.
For 3 and a half years,
I was walking with my eyes shut,
But now I can see again,
This cruel world,
And I can finally see what you’ve hid this whole time,
Your true character.
You made me believe that we could rely on you,
And that you’d never go against us,
But now I know,
That not all blood relations are sincere.
The truth will only come out,
Once you stop walking blindly,
And finally open your eyes,
To see the world once again,
The unfiltered world,
You were afraid to see.
At first I thought these relations,
We’re tied solely by a string of love,
But now I know these relations,
Are tied only by bitterness,
And alienation.
It’s only for the enhancement of our own lives,
That we cut the string that held us together,
Because if you can’t acknowledge the hurt,
And suppressed emotions we’ve carried all these years,
And in turn talk against us,
In the depths of the darkness,
“I hate you”,
Will put you in your place.
You threw us into an unending pit,
But we are strong fighters,
To be able to reach the light at the end,
And now we’ll put you in your place,
And throw you right into that very pit,
To where we’d felt helplessly alone,
So you can experience our pain.
Mama always told me,
God never lets go of the people that cause you extreme ache.
So take it as a sign from God,
When you’re falling into that pit,
And you regret everything you ever did.
For 9 years,
Age 5 to 13,
I wore Gandhi glasses.
They were rectangular,
And wire rimmed.
They were my favourite colour,
The colour of a marine freshwater fish,
They were salmon pink.
I wore them everywhere,
In company with my twin braids,
My metal mouth brimming with braces,
And my jazzy kameez.
To me,
I was beautiful.
I was truthfully my authentic self,
And that made me contented,
And so incredibly proud.
To the subjective society we live in,
I was a nerd,
And I was ugly.
To all my cousins,
And even my best friends,
My glasses made me look like an old,
Brain dead grandma.
To them,
I was old fashioned,
And to them,
I wasn’t cool enough,
Because I didn’t follow the latest trends.
The constant exclusion,
As well as the snickers about my outward image,
To all the unusually lengthy stares,
And the nonstop mistreatment,
Was what lead me to quit walking,
And drop to my knees,
Under a murky raincloud,
Showering me with plummeting self confidence.
I patiently waited each year,
For the annual eye doctor appointment,
And prayed my eyesight would drastically change,
In hopes for just one thing.
The day finally came,
When the optometrist declared,
I needed new glasses.
I was sure that on that day,
My life was going to change in the best way possible,
And I was going to be accepted in society at last,
As not an exclusive,
But just another copy.
Societal pressure had fogged my mind,
And the pitter pattering rain,
From the stormy cloud of crashing self confidence,
Was mercilessly bathing me.
I fell for all the stupid things people said to me,
Treading on the heals of popular trends,
Was like walking into a an inescapable trap,
Surrounded by poison ivy.
With my possessed mind,
I bought the trendiest glasses,
The ******* boring ones,
And I spent everyday wearing them,
And gradually,
I lost that feeling of uniqueness.
That feeling,
That set me apart from everyone else,
Had completely vanished.
I felt painfully uneasy,
And for some reason,
I didn’t have the same high regard for these new glasses,
As I did for my pink Gandhi glasses.
I felt like I was invisible,
Everywhere I went.
Bit by bit,
I began to blend into a group,
A group of people that all looked the same.
I didn’t feel like I was my own person anymore,
And most of all,
I felt empty,
All the time.
We are the generation,
Of a tranquil wordless classroom,
When the teacher asks an enlightening question.
In a realm of presumed learning,
I’m ringed by students absent,
Gone to travel somewhere in their clever minds.
We bury our brilliant ideas far into our heads,
In unease that we may be judged,
Or worse,
Get the answer wrong.
We sit rattled in our seats,
Cognizant of all the answers.
But when the teacher asks for a witted rejoinder,
We forge a perplexed expression,
And our gaze wanders off,
From eye contact.
We crave so much from this makeshift life,
We possess dreams that skyrocket through the roof of this stunted classroom,
This school,
This planet.
We own dreams that could spiral upwards into space,
Dreams that aspire to dance with the stars.
It all starts in the classroom.
Raise your hand,
And let loose,
Your dynamic brain.
Do people realize,
The damage words do?
Do they not see my ****** wounds,
Or the tears escaping from my eyes?
Is it possible to be blinded by pain,
And deaf from the sound of screaming?

Words carve through my bare skin,
Like a blade skimming on delicate ice.
They leave behind a gory trail,
Of bloodstained footprints.

When you spat those words,
They rolled off your tongue,
Out of your mouth,
It was like a gun had fired.
Your words shot me straight in the heart.
The pain, the hurt,
The gun.
It tore my heart in two.

The wounds from your words are perpetual,
There is no surgery,
To cure what you’ve broken.
You’ve left me to survive another battle,
Wasn’t one battle enough?
How can I cure what doesn’t go?

Your words,
They’ll stay until I know,
That I am perfect,
And worthy,
And when I’ve learned to accept the bruises that don’t fade.

But why,
Why do you walk away from my blood?
And why do you wait until the ink has leaked from the dozen holes in my heart,
And travelled down the drain,
Just to do it all over again?
My heart is an inflating latex balloon,
It puffs up,
And sprouts an appetite for butterflies.
Bearing youthful caterpillars with wings,
Fluttering chaotically in its belly,
It itches to set them unleashed.
“When will it pop?” I ask myself frantically.
Quivering butterflies dressed in lifeless wings,
Gory trickles of blood,
The ***** from my mouth.
I’m feeling sickly queasy,
Help me God,
Help me!
I’m risen to my feet,
Still in front of this **** computer display,
Uttering my prayers and hoping the letter I appoint is correct,
Or else all my gladness would dwindle.
I’m pondering over each letter vigilantly,
A, B, C, and D,
Oh my gosh they all look like carbon copies!
Conscious that minutes are running out,
Moments away from my heart exploding,
An eruption of perished butterflies.
I want to weep like a toddler departing from the toy store,
But the Earth will proceed to move,
And my expression of fear will go unnoticed.
So I select the letter my gut draws me to.
The second I graze my thumb over the letter,
I sense a crowd of pity and regret.
I feel a dozen people circling around my screen with bold characters spelling “loser”,
They’ve all come to watch me,
Just to see me topple off of a steep cliff.
I can’t bear watching mom and dad miserably console me,
Or knowing that three bitter hours of studying,
Five hundred mock questions,
And a million prayers,
Will sink to the foot of the sea,
And I’ll be left with a floating glass bottle,
Containing a letter,
With the word “failure”.
But the screen alters to a cluster of different words,
Like a poetry stanza.
I’m skimming through a heap of vain until I see,
“Congratulations”.
I’ve passed,
My learner’s licence test.
I trusted my gut,
Thank you.
You were ripped apart,
From my mothers heart.

Torn away forever,
Forced from all the pressure.

You meant the entire world to her,
The tables turn, now you’re just a stranger.

Your real mother is forgotten,
You don’t even know that you’re adopted.

20 years of lies, they pretend you’re their real son,
Even though you’re my mom’s son, her forever loved one.

You never returned, it’s been 20 years,
And you still haven’t found out it appears.

That you’re not just an only child, rather,
You have 2 sisters and a witty brother.

My mother loves you, her heart beats twice for you,
You’re blinded from her love, if only you knew.

You’ll never ever read this poem, I know,
But I’ll meet you at the end of the rainbow.

When our universe ends,
And another life begins.

One day is for certain, we will meet in heaven,
When you enter the gates to a place so pleasant.

And you’ll be called in by your mother’s name,
My mother’s name.

That day you’ll know what’s true,
And how much I love you.

Our words cannot express,
What our emotions can address.

All the love I have for you is beautiful.
Still, I’ll persist to love you as usual,

Fear my family and keep the damaging truth a secret from you.
For now you’re just a cousin I only see at wedding barbecues.

Only for a lifetime.
I love you half brother,

I really do.
I am red,
And green,
Beguiling but messily combined paint.
I am no solid twenty four-carat pigment,
I am two.
Muddled with chaos and heaps of emotion,
I am two.
When I spin and whirl on a canvas,
The stains and smears exhibit a rainbow spectrum,
Of ruby red,
A crowned head on a scarlet throne,
Like maple leaves on the peak of an autumn tree,
And emerald green,
The hidden leaves amid the cluster of ripe autumn maples on the tree,
Gripping onto its limbs and aiming not to fall with the season,
Like crescent moons and hidden stars of virtue and peace.
Oh the green leaves on maple trees!
Rest In Peace.
The colour that bleeds with passion whilst you’re dancing in a crimson dress,
And the colour that oozes from the living world within you onto the soil you meditate on to give life to fields and fields of grass.
Mixing and mixing of two that don’t match,
You end up with a frenzied mess,
I am no solid colour.
I’m twirling with streaks of red and green,
Like the colourful veins displayed on your wrist,
Adding flavour to your naked skin.
At times it’s unchallenging to express both colours equally,
But every so often one colour tramples over the other.
Mixing and mixing,
Yet sometimes the performance is brown and bland,
It’s like the paint has given up.
It relentlessly inquires it’s hue and identity,
And clouds its stripes of beauty with shade.
Lack of purpose covered in brown,
And the paintbrush,
It just keeps pirouetting.
The red blotch of paint,
Or the green blotch,
Which am I?
How can I pick which is better,
Which I choose to exhibit to others,
When I am two,
And not a solid colour?
I dance on paper as maple leaves and crescent moons,
But as I glide across a meadow of colourless white snow,
The red and green alter their enacting sequence.
Along a highway brimming with prismatic dancers,
Paving through fields of white snow,
I’m ridiculed for my green veins,
And shamed for the red.
The eye of lookers in a museum gape at my canvas smeared with unfamiliar abstract art,
Their mockery destroys the hued bands in the paintbrush’s bristles.
Oh the red and green paint,
Diverges into a river of brown,
Along a colourless slate.
The paint just wanted to be perfect for them,
But blending and blending of the two colours,
Created a pointless living soul,
A figure split in two,
So very disarrayed.
I am of two,
I am no solid colour.
I won’t tear this paper nor this road for solely red or green.
On one paper,
One road,
And one being.
I will dance with a mismatching blend of crescents,
And maple leaves,
Because I’m not ashamed of expressing two.
I am Pakistani Canadian,
I am two.
I’m crying out for help and no one seems to notice,
Nothing but my flaws and erratic mistakes.
When he is in chaos and a single tear drop caresses his cheek,
They all seem to scamper after him.
But when I display the lion’s share of tears,
They tell me to shed more,
And that my tears mean nothing to them.
They tell me my work isn’t applauded,
And whatever I do, nothing will change.
They tell me I don’t matter,
That they couldn’t feel gratified about me
I’m not doing drugs, partying, or smoking.
A millions times less problematic,
And still not enough?
I can’t stand the fact that my life orbits around a planet of satisfying my family and cultural conducts.
I can’t stand having to lie to my friends about about going to a birthday party because I wasn’t given approval.
I’m a daughter but not my own person.
How can I resist comparing my family to other families when I feel all alone?
I can’t see anyone in my life going through what I go through so I resist telling anyone how I feel.
They mistaken my tortured tears for sickening snot.
They offer him a glass of water but for me not even a tissue.
Why did you move to Canada if you don’t know what it will be like for your children to grow up here?
First generation Canadians are two clashing children on a teeter-totter,
Attempting to live up to both worlds.
Why is nobody talking about this?
For God’s sake,
Break the stigma!
Oh break it apart,
Let your voice echo!
For the dying girl,
Save the dying girl!
Why does it seem like I’m all alone?
Your tears don’t concern me anymore, because when I was shrieking for your tender loving care and comfort to talk about my mental state,
You ignored it.
Mistaken for the melodramatic and furious girl.
You deserve the treatment you gave me.
The melodramatic and furious boy.
Im ostensibly merry,
But beneath the disguise,
I am divided and bare.
Craving the sweet relief of death,
Because nothing I do seems to fill the hungry belly of an overbearing culture.
I laugh to distract myself from the tornado inside.
They’re my family.
You mock my misery,
Ridicule the bottled emotions I may have unwittingly spilt,
Degrade my emotions in front of the people I conceal hatred for.
A daughter of secrecy and bandaged ache, you question why?
Take a glimpse inside the domestic life.
Squabbling, sobbing, silence, smiles, repeat.
A place of stigmatizing mental illness,
The children, baffled of how to open up about feelings because if we did,
All we’d get is a slap on the face.
When I was bullied,
I longed for help.
But all I got from you was “tell the teacher.”
But father!
What you don’t understand is,
These 21st century kids,
They don’t give a f!
Bullying is worse than ever before,
And you wouldn’t know because you never experienced it,
Nor know it exists.
I can’t just tell the teacher,
Because these teachers you ask?
They don’t give a f
!
They tell you “bullying kills” but won’t send assistance to the hushed suicidal kid in class.
They’ll ship you to the counsellor so they can purge their burden,
But won’t stop the kids who are causing you strain.
Mom and Dad,
What you don’t understands is that,
They persist to praise the popular kid who bullied you,
Even after you discharge of emotion.
Nothing changes.
I learned the hard way that they don’t ever learn their lesson.
Only you do,
That you should never address bullying to a teacher, because like I said,
They don’t give a f*!
High school here is different from an all girls school in Pakistan, Mom.
Boys are jerks and dreadfully heartless.
This loathsome school is not what it was like 35 years ago, why?
Because it didn’t exist,
And time alters everything.
I can’t leave you because I need you.
Every time you hug me I cry from the pit of my heart,
I can’t help but feel condemned of my feelings.
I love you,
But I just can’t explain to you,
How I really feel.
I open up.
And you tell me I’m an ******* and you can’t feel sorry for me.
You tell me I don’t have social anxiety and neglect my symptoms,
You tell me I’m just stupid.
You tell me you hate me.
I cry out an eternal river of tears and with tears I am writing this,
Here in the open,
Where the commonly sharp can’t see.
Nobody cares,
Not even my once faithful companion that I called my brother.
I loved you before and thought of you as my one best friend that I could pour my heart out to.
Now that we’re not kids and third grade homework isn’t the heaviest stress load we have,
Why have you abandoned me?
But I have to say that I hate you because now I bottle my emotions up.
I can’t tell you anything without you telling me I’m stupid,
Judging me,
Telling me my feelings aren’t valid.
What happened to my once faithful companion?
I’m an *** if I don’t open up and I’m an *** if I share my feelings.
I’m not selfish, believe me!
I’m misunderstood and was made to feel alienated since third grade,
But you don’t understand that because you’re a boy,
And boys are invariably praised here.
Girls have a million expectations they’re required to meet,
Yet they’re still condemned and considered a burden,
And boys do nothing but sit on the couch all day watching YouTube and are praised and adored endlessly?
Every family member I once loved ended up becoming deadly fumes to me.
My cousin, once a girl of magic.
The girl I would go to with all my dilemma that would vanish temporarily with her presence is now someone I get distressed around.
My brother, I thought the funniest boy in the world,
Who I could easily laugh with,
My pill for joy,
Is now someone I avoid conversing with because our mentality and outlook contradict one another,
He who would listen to anyone and believe their credibility,
But would be ****** if I insert my sentiments.
I have a never ending sympathy in my heart for my parents because they’re both weeping for help on the inside,
Attempting to escape from their dreadful past.
I’m a daughter and forced to take sides,
But I belong to both.
You’ve left me confused and afraid,
I can’t seem to bring myself to choose because deep down,
I love both.
I can’t help but cry when you tell me one is better than the other,
Why one is lying,
And why I am just a replica of the terrible one.
I can’t help but die on the inside,
I lose a part of myself when family is brought up in a conversation.
I once loved my family,
But now I don’t know.
I’m confused.
We are so unlike other families and I’m tired of comparing us to the impeccable families out there.
When they say family is forever,
Should I believe them or should I continue with my doubt.
Because I’m aware,
The blood is forever,
But the bond is fragile and can easily break,
And it’s breaking.
The grinning blossoms,
Dance to the bird’s rich jingle,
Perched on evergreens.
The soil fastens their souls,
And frees the nature within.
In a thousand movies,
You’ll never find me,
Because in the movies,
I’m the little human,
In the talking picture.
Far, far away,
It’s like I’m set in another continent,
Distanced by a body of water,
In the corner of your screen.
I’m not the main character,
Or the prime of your vision.
I’m in the background,
Small,
And insignificant,
I blend in.
I’m vigilantly glued to your story,
And attracted to your relevance.
I’m listening to every word you sputter,
Eager that your story might end,
Because I’m tired of staying silent.
I can feel your words,
They poke me,
Bruising me with every touch.
I tried not to swallow your words,
But I opened my mouth,
No longer yearning to be silent,
And I was instantly gagged.
Your words choked me,
And now I’m silent,
For as long as my soul breathes life.
While the tape rolls,
I’m foolishly meaningless,
A pointless character in life.
I won’t have feelings,
Until the movie ends,
But for now,
I’m just irrelevant.
I was always there,
But I was never noticed.
I’m not the main character in this movie,
Someone else embodies the importance.
They don’t know,
I have a story too!
Life’s a movie,
You’re in the spotlight,
While I’m in the darkness,
I’m useless.
I don’t matter,
Because just like you said,
I’m irrelevant.
For the rest of this film,
I’ll remain silent from telling my story.
You have everyone’s attention,
I’m just a worthless figure,
Why would anyone listen to me?
Because this is your movie,
And I’m just irrelevant.
“Please, I can’t breathe.”
This is America.
No, it’s not about freedom,
Quite the opposite.
It’s about class and privilege.
We’re put into boxes,
Divided by the colour our skin.
We are the dividers,
The masters of segregation.
An explicit bolder between the rich and the common folk.
The rich being imperceptible,
And miles away from reality.
The common folk,
Constantly manipulated,
And obsessive,
Over the lives of the rich.
Profits made by the rich off of common folk,
The common folk too naive,
Too innocent,
To understand the devilish scheme.

“The knees on my neck.”
When a flattering appearance overshadows a hideous soul,
That’s when you know,
You’ve uncovered the hidden code to privilege.
The conventionally beautiful create the definition of beauty,
And beauty becomes an unattainable standard,
Unachievable beauty produced by counterfeit beings.
Something you must meet in order to be desirable,
To be accepted,
To be beautiful.

“I can’t breathe officer.”
Dear America,
We’ve had enough,
Of your senseless propaganda,
Affirming to be a paradise of the free.
We’re tired of all your preaching,
About love between your people.
When all I can see is white bread,
School shootings,
And racism.
Everywhere.
Are you too foolish to accept,
That racism is unlawful,
Applying to everyone,
Of every race,
Even if you're a **** police officer?
Are you still going to regard it as something we can easily ignore?
How can we not learn from what’s been done in the past?
Why are we letting history repeat itself?
This country,
States it’s fast forward,
Ahead of the game,
But it’s still a century behind.  
Why is it so hard to free ourselves from bias?
Why have we normalized these biases we’ve been taught towards people different from us,
Instead of discovering where it originated?

“My stomach hurts.”
Everywhere,
On the tips of our fingers,
We’re encompassed by racism.
We listen, enjoy, and relish the people that actively chant derogatory terms,
Racial slurs,
And racist jokes.
We continue to support online personas who spit nothing but dirt from their mouths.
We don’t stop to raise our voice when someone around us makes a racist remark,
But why?
Are you too afraid,
Of defending an innocent community?
Why do you lower your voice when your ears cannot lie about what you just heard?
Is it the fear of your own community that stops you from defending another?

“My neck hurts.”
A guiltless black child,
With a life of opportunity ahead of him,
Grows up amongst the grace of his family.
He is loved,
And fear never invaded that love.
He goes to school,
Encompassed by hundreds with a lack of melanin.
He’s different from them,
Though he’s a human being too.
The love he received from people begins to dwindle.
It’s funny,
Once your an outsider in someone else’s home,
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a human or not,
The eyes fail to see beneath the skin.
They won’t stop to see your sorrows,
Or question why you came there,
But rather attack as if you’re an intruder.
Everyday he finds it difficult to appreciate his coarse hair,
His coffee brown eyes,
And his beautiful black skin.
His schoolmates fail to love him like his family did,
Their perpetual reminders,
Of his clashing differences every day.
Their exclusion,
Their remarks,
Their physical aggression,
Is enough for an innocent black child to quit loving himself.
All his thoughts follow a stream of untouchable wishes.
You know a child has been broken,
When they want to change their brown eyes to blue.

“Everything hurts.”
A country that fought a war for racism,
Still has the rashness to ask whether racism is passable or not?
That innocent black child grows to be a man,
A loving man,
That despite his differences,
Carries on with life,
Because life goes beyond the skin.
His naked eyes had seen the alienation of this paradise land,
He knew the hidden truth,
But kept silent,
Because why believe a black man?
He knew.
The world had cornered his community for centuries.
Fear of colour,
And of differences,
Was what drove people to make irrational decisions.
He was the innocent black child,
Who’d grown to be a dignified man.
But a world that holds hatred in their palm stronger than love fails to see the good in different.
If the world were colourblind,
There would be no such thing as racism.
But if the world were colourblind,
How would we learn to celebrate our differences?
Would we still fail to see human in every human if we were blinded by the colour of our skin?
What’s so terrifying,
So strikingly odd,
About people of colour,
With a bit of melanin in their skin?
What surges people of privilege,
Some white folks,
To **** us?
That black man didn’t want to die because of the bitterness of another human,
Nor did he want to see a white male destroy him,
Suffocate him,
With his desolate leg.
And you said this was okay?
How is it okay?
Arrest the man,
The voices of millions demand you arrest the man!
And put him in jail for a lifetime,
So he can learn to struggle for the price black people pay for a community’s unjust privilege.
This is the story of millions of immaculate black people.
How can a first world country called America,
Still have a third world dilemma of racism?
How inhumane could one be to watch another human die?
Painfully,
Slowing.
How beastly vile of a creature could you be to let the black man die when clearly black lives matter?

“Please let me stand.”
In every race,
And every religion,
There are bad people,
Just like there are good.
But when one bad human,
One bad individual’s action,
No matter how big or small,
Outweighs all the good of the world combined,
For centuries,
That’s when you know,
Fear,
Is a stronger emotion than love.

“They’re going to **** me.”
How could you approve racism here?
How could you let the colour of your skin,
Something beyond a human’s control,
Be a crime?
We can’t stop talking about this,
Never.
Not until racism is cleared from our name,
Not until we’re labeled a paradise by not the government,
But the people.
And not until the innocent black child begins to love himself again.
We’ll continue these conversations,
Until one day,
Racism is deceased,
Instead of guiltless people of melanin.
Be kind in your words,
And actions.
We are the manufacturers of racism,
We wrote our mistakes in a ballpoint pen,
Take accountability,
And let’s erase it ourselves.
We may never diminish its mark,
But if we continue,
It will fade away.
A quick double tap, click, and share on Instagram is not enough.
Better yourself as a person,
Discharge yourself from bias,
Straighten up from your bundled ball of fear,
And pointedly call the racist person out.
You won’t look stupid,
I promise.
Strike these conversations as much as possible,
Save the innocent black child,
Make him feel loved again,
In this foreign land of despair.
He didn’t deserve to die,
Along with a million others.
After all,
They were just innocent,
Black,
Beautiful,
Humans.
They were humans.
Justice for George Floyd and all other victims of racism.
I’m tired of repetitively silencing myself,
When I need to speak up,
About the reality of the veil I wear,
That cloth on my head.

No,
Don’t call me a s* head.
Because it’s not just a pointless scarf on my head,
It’s my protection,
Against a cruel society,
And I am constantly fighting.

I know that for years,
The media has biased millions,
Into thinking that my hijab,
Is some kind of oppressive tool.
For once can we stand up,
And scream our truth,
So the world can be uncovered,
To a finer reality,
Where I can live freely,
Without being told,
I’m tormented,
And oppressed?

It’s the damaged society that is oppressive.
In a world where people,
Men and women,
Establish insecurities,
In the youthful age,
Of adolescence.
In a world where body image,
Generates eating disorders,
And results in intentional starvation.
In a world where people are judged,
By their trivial outer beauty,
Rather than their brilliant intellect,
And alluring character.
In a world where people drive crazily,
To conform to beauty standards,
And billions of dollars,
On cosmetic surgery.

If you think the hijab causes oppression,
Then you are turning a blind eye to the world we live in.
Our world,
This insanely wacky place,
A systemic oppression against women.
Why are we normalizing,
Women’s bodies being sexualized and objectified?
We are more than just mere objects for God’s sake!
Why do we fail to see beneath the surface?

The hijab is liberating,
It’s a form of empowerment,
That you need to understand.
I am fighting a methodical brutality,
Against women.
I am fighting to be seen as more than just an object,
But as a human being,
With significance,
More than what you can see.
I am making a statement,
That I am a women,
Who does not actively seek,
Or need,
The admiration from men,
For my body.
I choose not to be sexualized.
When I’m in public,
My sexuality is in my control.
You have to deal,
With what’s in my brain,
My intellect,
And my character.
I choose for people to judge me based on who I really am,
Not my physical appearance,
Or my body.

You cannot deny,
That we as individuals,
Are treated differently by society,
Based on how we look.
I am fighting against that,
And that is what makes my hijab so liberating.

Why aren’t we talking about the real oppressive situation of women?
Why aren’t we talking about the pressure,
To get plastic surgery,
And to mould into a beauty standard?
Why aren’t we talking about unhealthy diet culture,
Contributing to the rise of eating disorders?
Why aren’t we talking about the fear,
Of not having a perfectly ideal body?
Why aren’t we talking about what really matters,
The real oppressive situation of women?
Why are we transforming ourselves,
To please a devious society?

Hijab is liberating,
And empowering,
Because I choose to go against a deceitful society,
And because I am more than my looks.
That is why I wear it.
Prowling past that particular clique,
You’re like a wild grizzly bear,
Roaming abreast of a menacing car, Overflowing with inattentive humans.
They always cramp the locker hallways,
So you feel compelled to awkwardly shuffle around them,
Just to safely get to your locker.
Of course their crowd blocks you’re path,
Like the Berlin Wall,
Detaining outsiders from invading their region.
You’re hoping you don’t crash into them,
Oh their piercing laughter,
And their wounding tongue,
It’s the locker boys.
Hanging out in a flock near the lockers,
Resembling a swarm of geese on a humid morning,
A sight you’d see on a walk at dawn near the local pond.
You pretend to immerse yourself into your phone,
Your head to the floor.
Timidly pacing by,
Hoping they don’t pay attention to you,
Or snicker behind your back.
Locker boys,
These are the bullies,
That damaged you.
They tortured you with virtual remarks,
Hurled you into the dimness of the shade,
And titled you as “uncool”.
You’re insecure trekking past the tormentors that misused you,
And poked at your blemishes.
They are the people that sprinkled table salt on your scars,
And cackled at you bawling in distress.
You’re growing weaker,
Like a flower sinking six feet under,
Owing to the Sahara sun.
To them you are easy prey,
For affliction.
You’re hiding from them,
Even though you don’t wish to gift them with this fragile version of you.
You’re stripping your own character,
To let them carry on with their fiery crimson flames.
How do you narrow their blazing self-conceit?
Instead of feeding the fire wood,
Give them the air of the serene sea.
Gaping over your shoulder,
You see them,
The well-liked untouchable jocks.
You whirl around,
And dauntlessly stride towards the crowd.
Ambling through the flames,
And piercing through the middle like a seemingly endless stream of water.
Ripping soil into the two fringes of a water coarse,
And snipping fire into two,
You plop next to your locker,
And smile at the flames that once hurt you.
Fire overtook you,
But you’re not a deserted forest under the Egyptian sun,
You’re the water,
Of a thunderstorm drizzle,
A tidal flow from the sea,
And a beautiful flowing stream.
You may be water,
But you’re strong.
Strong enough to be oblivious by foolish flames,
And powerful enough to defeat them along the way.
Locker boys,
Won’t ******* me anymore.
Freakish, fearless, faithful, Farzeen.
Clever, diligent, organized, creative.
Who is able to make her friends smile like delightful daylight on a mournful, morbid, morning, her family howl hysterically on road trips to Chicken World, solve a math equation as quick as the peregrine falcon, make embroidered frames, brilliantly vibrant like glaring streetlights in the dark, dim night, and create joy.
Who loves making crochet clutch purses and DIY wall decor, painting majestic scenarios hung up on her bedroom walls, homemade biryani, who could forget kabuli pulao, and the songbirds of joy.
Who fears the dread of classroom presentations, the humiliation of academic failure, the judgment of this subjected society, oh her heart, racing as it screams to be heard, but never joy.
Who feels content enclosed by the 4 walls of her sweet, sweet home, at peace baking coffee cake in the kitchen at 2 pm, empty when missing a kindergarten bestie or a faded childhood memory from Pakistan, misplaced and consumed by the routine, traditional life, attempting to escape and discover the true beauty of this lifetime, and a whimsical joy.
Who wonders how it all started, this life we so effortlessly waste, what would occur if her ground was seized and her destiny diseased, what is yet to come, an unforeseen thunderstorm, or a sunlit day gladdening the spirits from above, and where it all went, her childhood joy.
Who dreams of touring soaring waterfalls, remarkable ruins, swimming in the turquoise sea of the Maldives, watching the radiating sunset in Santorini Greece, obtaining a reckless career as a family doctor, and joy.
Reckless, remarkable, rare, Rashid.
What! An Eid family gathering?
Another social event?
I can’t live through all the chattering!
Not going is time well spent.

Mom, please! Don’t drag me there!
You know well we’ve tried a gazillion times already,
I’ll be left in despair!
My face will turn red and I’ll be sitting there awkwardly.

Mom, for God’s sake, help me!
The voice inside keeps screaming, I’m crying,
Why can’t you hear me plea?
You think I’m fine, but really I’m dying.

I forget where I am as the door is shut and you leave the room,
After telling me all the horribly horrid breaking news.
I feel myself collapsing and I rush quick to the bathroom.
That news wasn’t meant to brake me, but here I am with the blues.

Stress and burden make an entry,
The racing and queasy heartbeat,
Then panic, making me wary.
My life has fallen to my feet.

Why can’t my life always remain permanently perfect?
There’s almost always something that fleetly ruins the untarnished!
I stare myself at the mirror until I can’t connect,
How I’m not who I used to be 4 years ago, someone I miss.

Whether it be days, weeks,
Even a month before the event,
There’ll be tear stained cheeks,
Alongside sleepless nights and torment.

Those nights I’m praying to God, the best disposer of affairs!
He will never leave me empty handed,
Have faith they say, the Almighty is bound to accept prayers.
I hope it works out how I intended.

I’m at serenity after a couple prayers.
Naturally, the overwhelming tension keeps coming back.
All my strength is vanished when I’m swallowed in my fears.
It’s the anxiety that returns when the room is pitch black.

It’s the day of the event, I don’t want to leave bed.
Too suddenly it’s become the world’s most comforting place.
I’m hoping something would happen, I hope to be dead.
I try thinking of excuses without being a disgrace.

A ring of the phone is what gets me out of bed.
I pray one last time that God listens to my plea.
“They have cancelled the event!” says my mom with dread.
My world lights up, I’m dancing in utter glee.

I’m saved from humiliation,
And low self-esteem.
From the social isolation,
Well now I can breathe!

I can finally be my true self,
No need to please anyone.
Grab yourself a book on the bookshelf,
This time my prayers worked out.

One day I’ll face my fears,
But only on this beautiful day,
I’ll let that be in years,
So together let’s shout out hurray!
I remember everything that happened that night.
It was vague,
But the sounds of talking furries on the TV is still definite.  
We were together,
United as one merry family.
But everything changed that night.
I still remember everything.
The naive kindergartener could never possibly forget what happened that night,
Even ten years later.
I was loved by a family,
Two affectionate parents,
But internalized hostility was the trespasser of their relationship.
The fights,
The squabbles,
They meddled with the blessed aura of our family.
But how would someone know how badly an event can damage someone?
Someone so young,
All they’ll ever do is hate,
Without realizing the broken pieces.
They’re invisible to them.  
They can forgive over and over,
But none will ever forget,
Actions.
I was in the middle of 2 human being-like creatures,
Lost in a battle field of fury.
How could you not see me?
How could you not stop what you were doing when you saw me?
How could you continue to push her?
To punch her until her teeth bled.
But why?
Just why?
Why would you do what you did to me too?
I was the middle.
You tugged my arm,
She tugged my other.
Both reaching for me,
To have me for their own.
But didn’t you know,
I was only 5 years old,
I didn’t need just one of you,
I needed both of you,
To grow.
I didn’t want to choose who to fight,
I loved both of you,
But love ends when your forced to choose.
I screamed.
I am the middle,
You choose to keep me for yourself.
How could you do what you did that night?
To me,
To her,
To yourself,
But most importantly,
Why?
She’s had enough.
A woman seeing her child in pain is not weak when she searches for help,
She’s not vulnerable,
She’s a warrior,
Willing to risk her life for her child.
That is a woman.
She dials the forsaken number.
The time ticks,
You think it’s a joke.
A knock on the door and it feels like a movie.
A blue suit,
A gun?
Who are these people?
They walk across the kitchen floor like they own authority over our itty-bitty town house.
They sit on our sofas, they look so odd.
I was so confused.
A lady greets me and amongst chitter chatter, I take her to my play room.
We talk about Dora The Explorer and all my favourite cartoons,
Like she’s my friend,
But I know she’s not.
She’s only here to take something from me,
I wonder what.
Time passes and the blue suit aliens walk across our linoleum in ******* boots.
No shoes in the house,
Seems like they don’t know the rules.
My mind clouds for a split second,
This still picture becomes a movie once again.
They open the door,
I see hand cuffs.
They take ahold of his hands and seal them together.
They’re leading him outside.
My mind is fogging again,
They’re supposed to take something from me.
They leave our door, but not empty handed.
They didn’t take my toys,
Or my DVDs,
They took something so much more.
With locked wrists,
His face forces a smile.
He’s smiling at me,
Is this a dream?
Why is he smiling?
Where is he going?
The blue suit aliens walk out the door,
Dragging a prisoner they’re taking to space.
He continues to smile,
Walking out our door.
He’s leaving his own house,
With locked wrists,
Swollen eyes,
Dragged by blue aliens,
And a big smile on his face.
I hear her sob,
Why is she crying?
Certainly no one is dying.
The aliens dump him in their space ship,
It’s like a car, only with flashy lights.
He waves at us from his seat in the space ship.
At that point I guessed,
He’s been abducted by aliens!
I can’t wait to tell everyone at school!
Even as the space ship flies away,
He’s still waving.
I wonder when he’ll come back from the moon.
The door is shut,
She collapses to the floor.
I’m confused once again.
I peak through the curtains.
He’s gone.
He’s gone.
He’s gone.
1 day passes,
He hasn’t returned.
Maybe the trip to the moon is farther than I thought.
2 days pass,
She’s crying more and more.
Maybe he’s buying us souvenir’s from space!
3 days pass,
Something’s not right.
Suddenly a family reunion,
There’s shouting, crying, begging.
I’m suddenly being dragged around again.
To the space station, oh boy!
There are blue aliens everywhere!
There’s begging, pleading, crying all over again.
3 weeks of visits to the space station,
And begging, pleading, and crying every visit.
I begin to think of the moon again,
Seriously, when is he coming back?
I lose interest in playing with my Barbie dolls,
Something isn’t right,
But I don’t know what.
That day was another blur,
A knock on the door,
And scampering to the window.
I peak through the curtains,
It’s him.
He’s back,
From the moon.
He’s smiling,
Again.
That smile.
The aliens were no where in sight,
Not even the space ship,
How did he get here?
She smiles in delight at the sight of him,
But her eyes show unclouded sorrow.
His eyes are bliss,
But his smile is forged and weak.
Again, I was in the middle.
We didn’t talk about that night ever again,
But I had a hundred unanswered questions.
There were no souvenirs,
And no tall tales from the moon.
I was told to forget that night,
But I never forgot.
For years the memory still replays in a corner of my subconscious,
Being the middle,
And your fragile smile.
Why did you do what you did that night?
Why was I forced to choose sides?
Why did you smile when you left us?
The blue aliens,
They took you,
From us.
You can’t expect us to forget,
Because I remember everything that night,
Everything you did still haunts me today.
You didn’t go to space that night,
Nor were there any blue aliens,
Or a flying space ship.
Dad, what if I told you I know,
The abuse,
The 911 phone call,
They were police officers for God’s sake!
A police car,
You were arrested that night,
The handcuffs,
And that smile.
Why were you smiling?
I know we bailed you out of jail!  
But how can I forget?
How can I forget what you did Dad?
Is it really that easy?
To forget?
It’s tormented me for years,
And it continues to haunt me.
I’m permanently damaged!
You are my ghost,
That never fails to scare me when I’m around you.
I’ll always carry that memory,
And you’ll always carry that smile.
Dad,
Why?
I ***** out my heart,
From my frail mouth,
Because that’s what happens,
When you’re regularly suppressing,
The anxiety you battle alone.
All of your insecurities become habitual,
And your bucket of dreams will be dumped amongst your ocean,
Of failed wishes.
But sometimes I have to choke on my heart,
And push it back down,
To the upper left of my chest,
When I’m uneasy to talk about my emotions.
They’re more than just oceans,
Of salty water.
They’re the puke,
From my heart.
Filled with thousands and thousands,
Of rejected feelings.
When parents fight,
And tirelessly bicker,
It’s like I can hear the trumpet of doom,
And suddenly it’s the Day of Judgement.
Whilst the children are silently sitting,
In the room nearby,
Tears caress down my cheek.
I wonder curiously,
Why are we cursed,
To live through an endless civil war?
We are a family,
We are one,
But we breathe through an aura of grudge.
Why is my life battles upon battles?
Bad news upon bad news,
And a hundred questions answered with no.
And why am I the only one coping through this endless thunderstorm,
While the world around me is sunshine and eternal rainbows?
Nobody else seems to have a family like mine,
So why am I ill-fated?
I clearly never asked to live,
But somehow I’m here.
One is always right,
And one is always wrong.
I’m forced to choose sides,
But how can I choose sides,
When I don’t know who’s right or wrong?
I have to love both of you,
So how can I hate one of you?
I’m confused,
I keep wondering when it’ll be over,
And thinking soon it’ll get better.
I keep living in hopes that one day it will,
But I’m scared,
What if it never will?
The people with inferior pasts lead the most fruitful futures.
I’ve been waiting,
Patiently.
I can’t help but ask when will my present transition into my future?
And will I ever?
Everyone seems perfectly unbroken,
Except us.
Why aren’t we ideal,
Like the families on TV?
We’re encompassed by stainless aces,
All my cousins live without realizing,
One of their cousins is missing,
And one of their cousins is dying.
They will never realize.
I’m broken,
The children,
They’re broken!
When will you realize?
Even the once broken pieces are now shattered!
Nobody cares for this war we silently battle,
Nobody cares to offer assistance to help us fight,
Or even ask!
I have nobody but me to comfort myself,
And force myself to put an end to the desperate sobbing,
And look as if a hurricane never hit.
I’ve worn a mask everyday,
Even before Corona.
A smile will show them I’m okay,
A smile will show them I’m not weak,
A smile will show them who I’m not,
Because I don’t want to be a burden.
I am a burden,
But I can’t display it,
So I hide a whirlwind,
With a mask,
A smile.
March with your head,
Instead of your heart.
I can’t contain myself,
The storm is too strong,
And I’m obviously broken,
In a gazillion pieces,
Like broken glass lying on the kitchen floor.
You dropped a fragile glass on the floor,
Now I’m right in front of you,
Shattered.
Why can’t you see me?
It’s like you think I’m not riven,
Or do I blend in with the linoleum?
Why aren’t we fixing the broken pieces?
Why are we brushing them away?
And why would you throw them away too?
Broken pieces aren’t meant to be in the trash,
They’re meant to be fixed.
It’s not just my heart that’s in pieces in front of you,
It’s everything.
My brain’s broken,
I can’t think anymore.
My heart beating rhythm is missing,
It’s broken.
With your bottomless fighting,
Everything is broken.
Instead of abandoning the broken pieces,
Why can’t we fix them?
Dismissing the broken pieces don’t fix them,
Broken pieces remain broken,
Unless you fix them.
I’m broken,
But I continue my life even when I want to die,
And nobody knows.
What does one do when they approach the destination they so desperately craved?
Do you humbly applaud yourself,
Or do you seek the praise of others?
Will you capture your special moment?
Maybe a picture of your so beloved,
That attractive golden medal,
And scream it in the faces of your followers,
As they scroll casually through their feeds,
On social media.
Did you do it just for their slender attention,
Or did you do it because you had a fierce passion?
Is it the satisfaction you get from their cheering that lifts you from the bottom of a self confidence pit?
What were your motives,
And your intentions?
Hear me as I say,
Accomplish your big dreams with a passion.
All your exhausting effort,
And tediously long midnight hours,
It shouldn’t be done to impress,
But rather to inspire,
And motivate others to continue dreaming,
While working hard,
To accomplish what seems impossible.
Not because you desire to show the world an arrogant part of yourself,
And not because you want to be viewed as better than everyone else,
But because you had a dream worth working hard for.
Prove to them that impossible doesn’t exist.
Destroy stereotypes,
And the roles in which society permitted us.
Show them that the word impossible was only made to set limits,
And constantly remind them,
To break limits.
Don’t show them that an elevated status is the sole way to attain endless bliss,
Show them that the forbidden highway you took to drive yourself towards your dream was what made achieving a golden medal so incredible.
Show them that the journey to reach for impossible,
Is what made you appreciate the struggle,
Rather than showing them the sparkly glimmer from afar.
It’s all about your own unique journey,
Not about the prize,
Or your spectacular win.
From far away,
All one can see is the accomplishment in gold paint,
They won’t be able to see what’s behind it.
Behind that golden achievement,
Is a journey,
With miles and miles,
Of obstacles,
And barriers needed to be overcome.
All that was needed to catalyze the journey,
Was a dream.
The person behind that achievement,
Was sprinting through an unbelievable obstacle course.
Without their dream,
They couldn’t run,
Because their dream fuelled the stamina,
They needed,
In order to run.
They came across multiple boulders,
Blocking their path.
It was the tackle to overcome that barrier,
That made their journey so authentic,
And gratifying to accept,
That the achievement was nothing,
Compared to the battle,
Behind the glittery gold medal.
You took the chance,
To achieve what was known to be your impossible.
You sacrificed yourself,
Racing despite a weary soul.
At last,
Approaching that finish line,
And seeing that achievement come closer to your view,
Once through lens of gold,
Now unshielded.
With your naked eyes,
You see what you so desperately craved,
Right in front of you.
It wasn’t about ticking off that achievement on your bucket list,
It was about the journey,
And how far you had come,
From just that single dream.
It was never about the fireworks of finally attaining a once known impossible dream,
Or the golden medal you hang so proudly in your bedroom,
It was all about the perseverance,
And the solutions you made to overcome the constant struggles,
That lead you to the finish line.
Instead of looking at your destination as a sparkling golden medal or trophy,
Look at it,
As a journey,
Because there’s no value to golden medals,
But there is in the journey.
It all starts,
With a dream.
Sweet sweet relish of death,
Unparalleled to another breath.
Drawing in a promising life,
And untying the blackened knots of hopelessness within.

Another second to cherish the beautiful gift of life,
Like your palms unlatched for the birds to perch and chant a melodious tune.
With every bare breath,
We tempt the true beauty of life.
You were once my utopia.
A tropical island,
Ringed by a turquoise sea.
You offered rivers,
Of sweet,
Syrupy honey.
Whenever I came to visit,
You blessed me,
With temporary relief,
And happiness,
From all my misery,
And un-bandaged wounds.
You were so pure.
You,
The island,
My wonderland,
You and your tenderly warm breeze,
Diminished my melancholy aura.
The sound of the multicoloured birds singing,
And soaring amongst the clear blue sky,
Like a rainbow,
Made me feel harmony.
You gave me everything I ever needed,
To forget the world and it’s worldly issues,
And finally live.
You made me forget everything that caused me gloom,
And reminded me of the pure bliss of life.
Because of you,
I could find internal peace.
Each and every peachy grain,
Of the sand below my feet,
They tickle me,
And hold me in place,
They make me want to never leave.
You were once an island of great pleasure,
A wonderland,
With candied coconut palm trees,
And green bushes filled with raspberries.
But just like a sunny day can shift into a thunderstorm in seconds,
A fruitful island,
A paradise,
Can easily vanish.
With the might,
And the power,
Of a ferocious gust of wind,
By God’s will,
And monstrous,
Furious mountainous tides,
In the turquoise sea.
As the waves grow bigger,
And the closer they get to you,
They wash you away,
My little,
Paradise island.
With their strong waves,
Like a magician’s secret vanishing spell.
You’re no longer my utopia,
Because the sea has washed away,
The beautiful island you were.
Everything that you offered,
Rivers of gooey honey,
A gentle summer breeze,
And coconut palm trees.
You made my pain go away,
And weakened my immortal anxiety,
And all of my insecurities.
But now,
You’re no longer what you used to be.
Your not a temporary relief from my pain anymore,
Because now,
You are the giver of my anxiety,
Everything you offer,
Causes me pain.
People change,
Just like islands turning to sea,
Once they’ve been washed up,
By the tide,
And a ferocious breeze.
You were once a special island,
For me to forget my worries and my stress,
But now,
The island is gone,
And you’re just the salty sea.
The sand once tickled me,
And held me in place,
But the ocean,
It swallowed me,
It drowned me,
And it killed me.
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