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selina 4d
i find it stupid that we were taught
two negatives cancel out to be a positive
do two wrongs ever cancel out to be a right?

ages ago, i made two stupid mistakes
hooking up with you in the gallery and losing your number
but i bet you're doing just fine

it's been three years, counting the first
and it's depressing to think about but
my memories have started to fade with time

i can't remember the tilt of your smile
the curves of your dimples or the lilt of your accent
if your hometown was cambridge, quincy, or boston

i can't recall the feeling of your fingers woven through mine
or the warmth of your body pressed against mine
or the way my heart raced from your words

so i'll tuck away whatever's left of the good times
into a little chamber in my heart
let it simmer and boil and wait

until the day we find each other again
i'll keeping looking back and thinking
i'll keep looking back until i realize again

english is a strange language
red is a mesmerizing color
my guitar sounds better when you play it

two past events cancel out to form the present
only one of the two mistakes previously mentioned was stupid
and the night i said i love you, i meant it
selina May 25
in the few moments
before dreamland crashed into reality
the skies glittered like cities of light

there was the sight of your bright eyes
admiring in the soft candlelight
the silhouette of your finger

tracing the constellations as
you shared a story of dusk and dawn
leading to the promises of a forever

which rolled from your tongue and became
the only words that ever mattered as much as the
"of course, i care," which you melded into lullabies

that repelled the terrors of loneliness
of wars in the heavens and monsters in the dark
your smile radiated light and

in the way your warmth surrounded me
you became young apollo
and i, your uncursed, loving daphne
selina May 16
times passes slowly now
the only times that had mattered
have all rolled on by

gone with the wind
and the dust has now settled
memories fade with the rays of light

our golden hour is in the past
night falls onto our shoulders
my mind is hesitant to say if it is heavier

than the weight of your words
when you said you were finally happy
my heart bled gold for you
selina May 13
t/w: violence, death


dear little miss dreamer
i'm sorry i couldn't write to you sooner
but yesterday night, i've read all three
each and every one of your letters

your mother sounds lovely
a brave woman, from what you've told me
if your brother comes by downtown
tell him, he's welcome to visit me

you have some big dreams
and i hope i can help them come true
i'm sorry i've been so busy
but i would truly love to meet you

you remind me of my wife
of her dreams when she was your age
we grew up together in the center city
like you, she was wise beyond her days

i agree, we need to help kensington
and we've begun taking some small steps
i'm pushing for a new bill to pass
but it'll still take some time to prep

i know you mentioned drugs and violence
and yes, i agree, it's completely true
please stay safe and stay inside
it could help protect you

actually, that just reminded me about kensington
my wife had told me some shocking news
a mother murdered at her kitchen counter
a little girl, shot, in the same view

i think she was writing a letter, too
but i don't quite remember who exactly to
it was titled, i think, "dear mister life-changer"
wait, it couldn't be— no, God, please, not you—
this is the second poem that continues the story in the previous one. the congressman send his reply, but... it's a bit too late now
selina May 13
please note: t/w: violence


dear mister life-changer
how have you been?
i know you never answer
but i wanted to try again

introducing myself for the fourth time
i'm a small girl with big dreams
my dad walked out when i was real young
my mum hopes i'll have an easier living

i'm in kensington, philly
it's not a nice place to grow up
with drugs, gangs, and guns
my older brother once even got mugged

i'm writing from my little closet
my mum said it's for me to be safe
but i hate being alone in this place
it's such a small, empty space

a couple of gunshots outside
it's like this every other night
brother's not home right now
but i sure hope that he's alright

there's a clicking noise
it doesn't sound very nice
i hear footsteps down the hall
they're not mum's, they're too light

mister life-changer, i think that might be my brother
he told me you could make things right
but why don't you ever write back to me?
why don't you ever reply?

i want to tell you my dreams
i heard you can make them come true
just give me one chance, sir
it's worth it, i'll show you

i dream of a big wide world
where i can walk outside and not be afraid
a world big enough for every little brown girl
to skip down sidewalks and enjoy the day

i hope to move to the suburbs
buy a big house for mum one day
buy her leather bags and pretty dresses
and not a single cent she'll have to pay


dear mister life-changer
i'm sorry there's blood on this paper
mum's bleeding out in the kitchen
someone shot her at the counter

mister life-changer
they told me to wait
i called the life-savers
they said, just wait

i don't know what to do
so now i'm back to writing to you
will you ever make a change?
will you tell me to wait, t—
wrote this poem that's a bit like a letter. context: a little girl living in kensington, philly, one of the most dangerous places in philadelphia, writes a letter to the congressional representative of her district. it's cut off at the end, and if i could, i would have added the sound effect of a loud gunshot. i think you would then understand how the story in this poem ends...
selina May 11
bravery on my fingers
freedom starred across my collar
honesty sinking into my chest

these words inked into my skin
reminders of who i was, who i am
who i hope that i will become

you need to understand
haikus are not bound by syllables
just stanzas of three lines

life is not bound
by the number of pages
ink bleeds past the edges
  May 11 selina
migayle ocuaman
if all souls are beautiful and warm
why does mine feel a coldness
to which cracks and shards
rip my being in painful forms
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