letters to Cassiopeia

You dream of wielding that sense of childish wonder in your heart once again:

A sort of unquestioning naivety in all things beautiful, a life that never ends – that wisp of nostalgia manifests into something a touch more tangible. You taste mooncakes on a soft autumn night; the smell of the sky hours before the first raindrop falls lingers above your quiet home. Somewhere, in a near distance, fireflies land on the moon and find home with a rabbit who’s tired of being alone.

The young girl that sat on the swings all those years ago has now grown older (it’s in the softness of her features, the faraway look in her eyes), but she hasn’t quite grown up: she still writes long letters to the constellations because brightness can be translated into the soul. She’ll continue to learn from them, continue to try and comprehend the ways of the sky’s beginning.

And sometimes, when you close your eyes, you become that girl: in your dreams, you never started looking to the end – instead, you wait in the darkness of a breaking dawn for a new tomorrow. You don’t decide today that you want forever; you wake up every morning and, each day, realize the fleeting breathless captivity of living and make a promise to those twenty-four hours. Eternity would pass you as you hold onto the sun.

It’s about time dreams fall into reality, you think.

It’s about time you wake up again.

 

 

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survivor’s guilt

there’s a red string that binds me and you; your bloodshot eyes stare into my soul, i pray that you’ll never know my name. don’t unearth secret dreams when they aren’t yours to meddle with. you’ll get hurt, i swear, you’ll get hurt.

we weren’t born for battle.

but you ran to save the fallen, i learnt to wield a sword in one hand and a gun in another. i bathed in blood of those i’ve lost because this – this is what self preservation means. this is the purpose of life. i fought to b r e a t h e. lived for the sake of living, ate for the sake of eating, loved for the sake of loving.

but you ran to save the fallen and when you crumbled under the new utopia (fuck off, the sky’s still blue, everything’s still the same, everything’s changed and gone against us), i couldn’t save you with bullets.

what can i say? i didn’t know where they were going to shoot.

what can i say? i was terrified out of my mind, i’m sorry to have wished that fate’s sisters would cut our ties.

did you forget me as you fell? tell me you did, leave me the assurance that you didn’t try to reach into my mind, that you mended your body as you ran.

the day i was born wasn’t the day for a knight, but now i know better, that the past doesn’t dictate my future. don’t remember me, but i’ll always remember you – close your eyes, heal the lost boys (heal yourself) while i build a universe with my bare hands.

this red string that binds me and you sways in the wind. it won’t break though, it won’t break. this red string that binds me and you will thread our growing kingdom together and i’ll fight.

i promise.

(here’s to those who didn’t make it to 2017 – and to those who did: take another shot)

i’m an actor onstage and off

i. my darling aunt, all rosy cheeks and bright eyes / my sweet aunt, her kind offerings of gifts and love / my favourite aunt, the redness of her cupid bow lips play deceive on me / for a moment after, i believed i tasted sugar on the tip of my tongue / it must have burnt somewhere, somehow, along the way to my taste buds / the darkness is heavy between the gaps of my teeth / my fingers twitch; i want to break the promise / such desires are deep and dangerous, too much so for a 16 year old girl / you’re young, you don’t know what you’re talking about / you’re young, you know nothing compared to her / when she smiles, doesn’t it feel like you’re making someone proud? / for the first time in your life you’re doing it right / (pinky promise, lock fingers with me, tell me you’ll never fall for a girl)

ii. lies roll of my tongue with practiced ease / the shrug and the slight raise of eyebrows, like i’m better / so much better, i am / i’m not / but i fear the unknown and god knows / god knows i’m terrified of rejection, a coward within and on the outside / my skin crawls at the very mention of the word / are you ashamed? / i ask myself this in the corner of the toilet stall, stare at my reflection in the dirtied mirror / my knuckles turn white from gripping the edges of the sink / the cement presses onto the palms of my hands as i struggle to breathe / wonder how many others before me, how many others after me, how many others like me/ how many have been in this exact placement / were they ashamed too? / are you ashamed? / (are you gay?)

iii. the almost silent trill of laughter that follows her words sound sadder than hilarious / i swallow imperceptibly / i’m afraid of divulging the truth / that i have yet to confess to myself / even in the deepest part of my mind, i need to dig / kneel on the ground and push away soil with my hands / watch dirt get stuck underneath my fingernails / before i can admit that no, no, no, you’re wrong / my heart twists and threatens to fall and words implant themselves on the linings of my throat / i want to say fuck it, no / i want to say: you’re the goddamn prettiest person i’ve ever seen / don’t look away but don’t look at me with those eyes / i’m not ready to enter your soul / let me play pretend for a while more / let me play pretend, i want to be a kid / (nah, you’re too pretty to be gay)

iv. someone, please / teach me how to bite back these tall tales that live on the edge of my tongue / that threaten civilians every time a whisper of breath passes by / how to stretch out the hand that i keep inside my pocket / how to take it out and hold hers / teach me to run from the looming storm / to steal the bolts of lightning and make them mine / to light up the dark soul that resides within me / to kill the voice who tells me to keep it all in / because i’m fucking tired / i don’t want to apologize for being anymore / teach me, please / someone, please

he holds a gun to your head, asks:

((why are you fighting for something you don’t believe in?))

 

you take your heart out and throw it into a glass case.  the blue it is duller than the light in your eyes, and oh god, isn’t that a pity? if it glowed, you could sell it.

but now, all you can do is stare at it from across the room. worth less than a cent, you are constantly reminded of the wordlessness within your lined papers and the wordlessness within your mind. light from your lamp sways past it when the wind blows. it is only in those sweeping moments that you see what you used to yearn.

it is odd, it is odd.

the manual says to wait a week before it should wither away into ashes, and you’ve spent these seven days at your bedside. the watering can has long been abandoned, but it still beats against the cold case that has now become its skeleton.

you almost want to grasp the bone shattering anger because of the money you’ve lost and the energy you’ve spent tearing it out.

you almost want to feel, but you’ve made sure that every single wave of colours has been extracted, all plucked out.

so you lie on the bed, count the bumps on the ceiling. you sit by the windowsill, name all the crows that fly past the building opposite. you stand at the balcony, watch everyone you used to know walk past your life again.

after the sun comes and goes too many times to remember, your fingers curl around an inkless pen and you write invisible poems on crumpled pieces of paper. the stories of kings and queens overwhelm those of the mundane routine of being alive. the tales of inevitability and the invincible power of apathy run rounds around your table top.

then, when you’re all dried out, you play on the soundless keys of a broken piano. is this nostalgia? is this longing, when your hands move effortlessly over the minors and majors?

it can’t be, not when you’ve kept your heart away.

except, except, except –

out of the corner of your eye, you watch as it continues to expand ever so slightly every three seconds, the blue fading in and out like frozen breath on winter nights. the veins that weave in between your ribs ache for something to hold onto.

the water in the can has evaporated. the glass has turned foggy from lack of oxygen. but your heart’s there, begging for a warmer home.

“go away,” you say.

it doesn’t, of course it doesn’t, and you can’t even weep when you don’t hold grief in the palm of your hands.

 

((or maybe you do, because there’s a tingling at the tips of your hair and the ends of your toes. something within you has wielded a sword and you feel it pray to a religion you aren’t faithful to.))

the language of flowers is lost on me

i pray that flowers do not attempt to thrive in your presence

in fear that they would wilt

turn black and blue, bruised from the insides out

when the darkest of your fury tears their petals into pieces

 

and i, a lesser form of life

i do not know how to ride with the waves

or how to walk upon the cracks littered on the dry ground

my ribs tremble in my gentle grip

i hold my breath as you step on the tightrope between okay and not

then, i stop growing, i lack colors

i have always lacked the vibrancy that exist in still butterflies

the light that burns from fireflies

i stand still in hopes of providing air

but still, i have no function in this breathing world of confusion

i question –

have i ever lived, or have i been living within a feverish dream?

 

i pray that you do not attempt to thrive in my presence

in fear that you stop gasping for oxygen

that your lungs stop expanding

when the dullness of my mind falls on your veins

 

even the devils wouldn’t dare touch you

you are a slave to your desires, the kind that makes you want to shrivel up and scream. you want so many things, you want to be so many things, but there’s a truth that’s so hard out there. you can’t be all of these things. it’s engraved upon your skin, the blood that runs through your blue veins.

barely breathing, you tell the world that you’re going to rise to the very top although you know that this isn’t true. your worth has been defined – and defined by yourself too.

you don’t want everything to end with one stupid decision, you say, and in the same breath, you fall to your knees in the face of an open door. do you want to stay or do you want to go? do you want to believe or do you want to run?

it’s your indecisiveness that will be the root of your descent.

and then you laugh and laugh and laugh, because you’re already at the very bottom. you’ve scraped your elbows from falling and crawling so many times the scars don’t faze you anymore. the taste of soil lingers on your tongue.

since when does it matter how much you want? greed manifests in your heart, and sometimes you wonder if it’s even there: the green is overwhelmed by the darkness of your perspective.

since when does it matter how much you want? it’s human nature to take and you have to be naive to think that you’ll be an exception. you’re no better than anyone else: that’s why you’re still lagging behind.

they don’t want you. you don’t want you.

but who would want to, when your identity is lost in the midst of trying to be an impersonation? you are defined by your fluidity between an almost okay and a forgotten fake, except you favor towards the latter, and that sets you down.

these days, you look into a mirror and there’s no reflection staring back at you. you are empty, you exist in this borrowed space and you haven’t been paying rent. your name is barely uttered by even the closest people around you.

faceless, boneless, bloodless.

you want, but since when did that mean anything?

 

i have never known what i wanted

i have loved and hated

wallowed in the permanence of departure

licked the wounds that have been impressed upon my skin

and to one, i have held in my arms

before pressing my thumb against their necks

in some fucked up showcase of dominance

to another, i have thought about incessantly, relentlessly

pushed them into dark rooms

while screaming out all that i managed to bottle within

and a part of me

that has not yet been so blatantly ruined

wonders which was a result of hate

and which was a result of love