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vanessa ann Apr 22
we are milliseconds away from mortality, you and i,
your impending doom hanging over like suspense and the ghost
of your touch
lingers longer than zeus, hurts harder than your voice
the day is yet to break and the time
is a hair’s breadth between now and forever,
when the sun strikes you down i will fall with you
but for now, let us lie like gods in this space we call home;
wrists against wrists and teeth sinking into skins
— you’ve always been mine first, and a god second.

undoubtedly inspired by the relationship between achilles and patroclus, the  aristos achaion and his most beloved
vanessa ann Apr 17
you were my home then,
the warmth in my fireplace, my
chest purifier, key finder;
whenever i leave you clung to me like dirt on the dishes
i carry with me your sickness for
love, for good.

somewhere between morning calls and warm bedsheets, i took
your hospitality for kindness for authenticity for love for truth
i was still drying my hair on your bathroom mat when you rang
the bell, and reminded me it’s time for
my checkout.
—i hope you enjoyed my stay
vanessa ann Apr 17
what are you waiting for, little bird?
the day has just begun, there was an angel
at 5th street and she told me to say hi to you,
little bird. what’s your plan for today?

you cannot sit around and wait for a suitor to offer words of praise,
you must learn to sing your own.
you will not get a thousand retweets on that little bird app but you must
do, anyway. do, anyhow. do, do. i do.

i bear with me no key to help you flee
there will not be a kind knight to hear your plea

o little bird, remind me
of your plans of jailbreak last night, speak
to me, have you learned to bend metals with your beak?
will you set yourself free?
—release
vanessa ann Apr 15
what they don’t tell you about funerals is that nothing ever feels real in that too-cold room. not the flowers. not the food. not the rooms in the back your uncles stayed in to keep watch. not the ill-fitting white t-shirt your father made you purchase yesterday. not the sad smile on your grandmother’s face instead of her usual bright ones. and certainly not the dead body of your grandfather in the epicenter, still as the corpse he is and none like the grandparent you grew up with.

there was no such thing as an open casket in your family, which was good, you suppose. it’d be too much to see his face without his usual frown. the smell was off. like tea and incense and flower petals—the ones you used to bathe the buddhist statues at the vihara every new year.

the catered pork ribs taste like sandpaper. you keep waiting for the buttery taste of your grandfather’s recipe to hit your tongue but you are met with msg. it was one of the many disappointments you encountered in those three days, three absences from school. none of your friends checked up on you further than to offer their “deepest condolences”. your crush has not texted you back. you drink bottled mineral water as your mother fights with your father, whose father had just died, again.

by the time the ceremony comes you are confronted with the gold of the casket up close. you wonder if it was real gold. a few hours ago your little cousins, yet to understand the concept of death, tugged at your sleeves and asked when grandpa would be home. you sealed your lips shut and let your younger cousin handle them like she always does. because you’re not ready to admit that you don’t understand death either; not in second grade when the dragonfly your classmates cruelly stomped on no longer flew, not even less than a month later, when your other grandfather passes.

you whisper words of prayer in the mother tongue you no longer remember. your cousin sheds a tear in front of you and you wonder if it’d be appropriate to console her now. you think about how much your kneecaps hurt from kneeling for a long time. your aunt’s cries perfectly masked the buzzing phone you sneaked into your pocket. later that night, your third uncle told everyone that he saw his father-in-law welcomed by guan yin herself; you wonder if it was true, or merely another lie adults tell kids and themselves to feel better about the nonsensical nature of mortality.

what they don’t tell you about funerals is how much like a fever dream they are. when the proceedings are over you drive straight home. home smells like home and your maid made your bed like usual. the stuffed bear on your pillow has not moved since the morning. it is 11 pm, and your mother yells at you to sleep soon because your grandfather may be a jar of ashes stored in vihara but you have school tomorrow. it is time to go to bed.
—when life goes on but a loved one's had come to a standstill
vanessa ann Apr 12
god does not love me
i think he doesn’t even know my name,
yet i still wonder what he’d call me by once i arrive
at the gates of afterlife,
would he disregard what he wrote in the book of life,
look me in the eye
and call me by the name
my parents christened me with
instead of human number 99560000c, earth #05?

but who am i fooling;
i am but a donut flying across infinity in lightspeeds
one moment there, a moment later swallowed by the hungry monster who awaits
in the black hole

am i a snack for idle gods?
a cut of chicken running from the jaws of earth, unaware
that it is merely flopping from one bowl to another,
flour to egg to crumbs—
a breading offering for the deities

most people have come to accept that, i think
as i jump yet again into the bowl of flour
but i am not most people, as i refuse to believe
the reality that i am but a speck of dust fleeting through life,
an insignificant bug easily quashed by the stinking
foot of infinity,
that old hag.

life is temporary
too much breading does not do any good
i will soon be the trillionth dumped into that pool of hot oil

but **** if i’m not going to try scorching the tongue of a god,
and while i’m at it,
be the most delicious flying donut in the galaxy.
―a feast for the gods
vanessa ann Mar 23
if i were any good at songwriting,
perhaps i’d be like clairo,
and write about how soft you’ve made me feel,
or the gaping hole you left in my stomach that spells out
s-u-m-m-e-r

if i was any good at romance,
i’d have straight up told you
how cool you were
how cool your creations were
how cool it’d be if we hung out

even as my heart is ablaze,
like sunny hong kong,
the wind singing along,
you are wrong, so wrong,
for this


perhaps i could write a novel, then
of a forbidden love between two lovers
in a summer long, long
ago
except it’d be fiction,
but maybe i’d lie and preface it with:
“based on a true story”,
if it means making a blockbuster,
lover

so come on virginia,
i think we could do it if we tried…?
i love clairo and i loved you, at least a little bit
vanessa ann Mar 23
sorry, did i stutter too much?
i hope you don’t mind.
it’s just that i’m scared my heart will fall out of my guts
if i keep talking to you like this

because how do you say i love you without saying i love you?
“i miss you” is too general to be perceived as anything but platonic, isn’t it?
but “you matter to me” is too personal for my comfort,
and “you are my world” might just be too much
for the both of us

it’s not like i’m in love with you or anything,
i just think it’d be nice to feel your heart beating
against mine.
—but if the universe aligns...
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