if they knew all they would become to were
some scars i regretted and did my best to forget
i wonder if i had known would i have changed my experiences
would i have tried to be colder stand straighter more upright
chin jutting out, daring the world to try one more time to put me
down, defiant and confident in my struggle that it was for me alone
but then the thought strikes me is that if even now all i gather are scars
instead of the cooling aloe that i need to heal past burns, some ice to cool
the heat under my skin from the betrayals and hurt i had felt once upon a time
a heat that still burns my insides today, the sharp tears of which left scars on
insides of my eyelids, a movie on repeat whenever i close my eyes to sleep or blink
in the middle of a good conversation with a new person standing in my casual self wishing
i could be somewhere else the moment i remember the slashes, the quiet shattering of my insides
circling the boxes
ideas and fantasies
once dreamed

pain strikes thunder
a roar of noise
flashing of future
beyond this now

darkness and substance
both cloak
heart racing skin warm
chest not

enough to contain this
feeling which
spills out like a full
stop ending a

sentence and like some run
away in its own trance the
water precipitates flowing
into an ocean of movements

cut off like a highly
irregular sentence.
i'm tired mom
i'm tired dad

i cannot stand to hear the birds sing these days
could not bear the hot sun for the past week
my heart danced when it rained and was quick
to stop with the rain and now i feel like
the colors bled out again but was this not
supposed to get better? i have been trying
to not live inside my own head and the hole
at the bottom of my stomach, the pit inside
my heart- i have not succeeded but i try to
fill up the spaces in my head with music-
that does not work either- and was all music
this flat? i lose sight and my hands are
shaking- now, i notice the gaps in pores,
the lines of my hands and- mom, are you there?
can you please talk to me for a bit now?
i am sorry i can only speak about my work
but i cannot tell you how i feel and how
i am alone and the only person in this mess.
dad, are you hearing me? i just wanted to hear
your voice to remind myself that someone cares
about my dreams and passions, someone who would
go above and beyond to ensure i am not crying
myself to sleep at night. brother, can you
scold me a bit longer? i am sorry but it has
been a long time since someone cared enough
to tell me how to do better and be better.

is friendship meant to be this hollow, this
easily brushed past? is it meant to be so
fleeting and brief? i do not want summer here
for i appreciate the coldness of winter instead
that tells me, gives me an excuse, to have hope
because summer comes with bright sunlight and
no excuses but with resounding harsh silences
in the pauses between the bird song and the
baking heat of the sun. love is too hard
and friendship is a lie-- so mom, dad, brother,
would you stay on the phone a bit longer?
birds are chirping. this is familiar. you can do familiar. "it's a mess" I say. quickly you reply "it's not a mess, it's pieces of your life." my life's pieces; not mine. It's taken shape as hundreds of tiny copies from the same damn story. you're fragile. you're the yellow copy of a receipt. stupid little paper girl.

this is going to be terrible and that's going to have to be okay because death is open to interpretation now.

there is something to be said about lying under every window sill in the house just to follow the sunlight and pretend it hasn't been dark since you left.

you look back in five years and realize that "you" in every poem has become yourself. everybody grew up and moved out of the sadness except for you.

dress up as yourself when you loved someone and stare in the mirror until it cracks. you never thought you'd be leaving the lights on waiting for yourself to come home. you'll never understand and that's the whole point.

always leaving never really arriving. you can stay only long enough for them to know who you are. nothing can remain the same because that's not real, is it? they say nothing lasts forever. let's be nothing. stop existing. we'll be timeless.
They sat, locked fingers across their knees,
curled against their chest. The sand uncomfortable-
gritty in their teeth, irritating their scalp,
in their pants; little red ants climbing on their bare
skin. Shells lie broken, a hazard, they've been told.

There is something beautiful about the way
the sea comes back to kiss the shoreline,
taking things but also leaving little surprises
behind- some gifts returned like a spoilt child
or some deity unhappy with the offered selection,
and some new unopened treasures brough in from
cousins abroad, as if an angry mother still
serving food to misbehaving children.
part iii

part i: "waves on the beach"
part ii: "river flowing"
the stars were falling down last night,
in my mind and over my head,
in the privacy of my bed with the yellow fairy lights
glimmering and i imagined them blinking at me but i set
the light source to one of stable continuity.

the stars were falling though,
in my hair and inside my head
- freezing them with their cold blue light,
easing the migraine,
the pounding inside my head.

i dreamed their scaled sizes smaller than
pinpricks of light in the distance,
and i dreamed you up last night
at your cruelest where you,
you stopped and cared for me.

it was the cruelest i had ever seen you
as i knew that once i woke up,
i would be left bereft of warmth in my life,
always striving, never achieving.

i scolded myself for my actions and expectations
but i knew that it was futile as my mind
kept moving ahead to other times,
other things i must do, and i realize
it is futile to wish for time to stop.
i prefer the noise of river flowing
there's this overall gush you can
hear and some weird sort of continuity
you really don't get when you sit
beside the sea so when i think of my
favorite water sounds i like thinking
of the river and sometimes when i am
in the shower i like to close my eyes
pretend i am in the middle of this
great river which is engulfing me
in its tide and current but i am
strong and big enough to stay steady
at the center and in this place i
am no one but the person in the middle
of this river and this person has
no cares of who is waiting at the banks
and who is not because this person
is so strong and can hold themselves
against this magnitude this volume
of water and i sometimes change the
temperature of the shower from
hot to cold so i can make it more
realistic in my mind and i imagine
myself to be big and invulnerable
dignified and respected with many
scars from battles won with a strong
back that does not hurt as much as
mine does and i sometimes wonder
what i would need to be and do to
become as stately as i want to be
in my mind i am that person in the
river untethered but firmly rooted
knowing that they are exactly where
they need to be because when needed
the river erodes this person's foothold
and then rather than panicking this
person allows themselves to be carried
by this great mighty river because
now they know this place is no longer
theirs to be so they are moved at the
will of the river and themselves to
another new place where they will again
firmly root themself until the next
i wish i knew to move myself when
my time was up. but i don't.
part ii

part i is called "waves on the beach"
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