Less than a month in an institution I have been in for 10 years. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it a home; banners aflutter and that unwavering spirit. you ask me if I will miss home, I tell you that I do not understand. how can one feel at home when she feels claustrophobic beneath wispy smiles and mindless conversation. this is me, looking to leave and to never return. you have served me well – I have returned the favour in plastic gold and dusty newsletters looking to embody the ideals of what the ideal young woman should be. do not be mistaken, let us not part with ill feelings. but simply, an awareness of co-existence. all condensed into occasional emails gushing about landmark installations and the fated 10 year invitation. I thank you for the seeds you have sown, soil for self growth. let this blossom scatter her seeds in the drifting wind, home soil yards away. like an eagle feeling her way through the crudity of rocky cliffs and abrasive winds. I will sing, sing until mountains compress and humidity dries up. let it be relentless. let these songs I sing be a constant reminder of the girl I once was and the woman I hope to become.
happy birthday and many happy returns.
I keep going back to your face, amidst mismatched continental disconnections and warped time zones. 7 days and it has caused a 7 month itch, spreading through my chest to my fingertips once scathed with Italian snow and your milk white skin. I’m sorry my eyes aren’t lidded with an exotic deep set, sorry my jaundice is incomparable to white against white; beauty in paleness, sorry I tied fitted ribbons across the webbed cavities of your foreign palm, dragging you home.
You do not belong here. Not in the sweltering heat, burning a hole in faded mental photographs I have of you. The humidity will wash off whatever colour you had left on your cheeks. Call me naive, and yet I will find you where you are meant to be found. Not in some lousy excuse of a memory, but in an autumn dream; ribbons aflutter before finding escape in the drifting wind.
tell me to take flight
and cut my fingers with
the burns of a plane ticket
caught between foreign pass-ports,
stamped repeatedly with unshed tears.
I will leave you with a contortioned
wave, whisper final
into the the curved shell of a
sand coloured ear.
and let the postcards you send
encompass the rest of
this tacit poem,
before signing off with the
of a new home.
rambles: somehow Europe makes everything seem more magical and fluid and confusing. and maybe that is where I ought to be — besides the fact that it is presently going through an existential crisis.
hello little J.
Let me candidly say, I am not writing this merely as a form of reciprocation. I am writing this because it needs release. one regret that you and I both share – we did not love each other as much as we should have. but then again, the future provides no room for regrets and things left unsaid. so no apologies, no lackluster attempts at covering up. rest assured, I will leave you not with an empty home. let me deconstruct it for you: I will leave you with a warmed fireplace; crackling, spewing and weaving past moments of incandescence. I will leave the blankets warm and pillows fluffed, for whenever you seek comfort. the keys will hang from the shelves of books containing photographed memories and words we were always too scared to pen down. please do not forget that home is where the heart is, and I will be here to stay wherever our scant physical selves may take us.
consider this contract sealed.
I need to stop writing about body parts I will never have and words you will never say; because it is the you I see in the fogged windows of coffee shops, you in the train carriage with eyes skimming the worn-out copy of a book I read not too long ago, you with the ink stained uniform sitting across your tutor’s bench calculating the origins of our next meeting. It is you I leave fragments of myself in, in the pockets of your book bag and in the cavities of an accidental smile. It is you I fall in love with every day, a short-lived love, I must admit. But a love nonetheless.
It is far beyond my reach, fingertips within negligible distance but not yet there. There is only so much a person can desire, intangible wants that may never materialize. yet, I want it I want it I want it. and again, there is only so much a person can desire. you reap what you sow, an indelible line seared at the backsides of my tongue and ingrained at the apex of my mind. All the romanticizing in the world can never account for potentiality. I hope I remember that in 15 months.
Our world is pretty, damn brilliant.
A conclusion that I have drawn up after viewing Sebastiao Salgado’s photo exhibition. The way he portrayed humankind in its uncorrupted state, surrounded by a natural beauty we now hardly come across. no words, no words. of Maui tribes and Kamayura villages living in dense undergrowth, punctuated by this crazy beautiful variety of wildlife. Then I realise that the lives we run on are too easy. turn on a faucet and we have hot water, gripe about the leaky air conditioning and tomorrow it’s fixed. It’s a shame that a lot of us take the blessings or people in our lives as a given, as an obligation. Salgado is an artist with the images he captures — utterly thought-provoking. humankind can be very, very beautiful, a hard truth that Salgado has made me believe. I shall aim to see at least 10% of this wonderful world he has photographed.
Yet, I suppose easier said than done right? I probably would die in the wilderness alone within a week. (how does one even light a signal fire and/or gut a rabid animal.)
Preparations for the final stage of the Amuricuma ceremony in a Kamayura village. High Xingu, Mato Grosso State, Brazil, 2005
“When he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.”
― William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
I will unravel you naked with
words that ricochet off worn tongues,
fingernails tracing down the smooth skin
of your back,
and up again.
you will love me from the roots of your hair
to the nerve fibres of your toes struck down
by drunk footsteps and midnight dancing.
the stars are witnessing your undoing tonight,
they cannot do much,
but shine brighter.