Things I learnt in May as advice for the signs.

: Be the person you needed when you were thirteen and sobbing into your pillow. The kinda person you’d like even when the lights are off and the world has stopped watching. 

: You can’t run away from everything. I wish we could. But trouble has a funny way of catching up to you. And if you pretend your problems don’t exist, the answers won’t either. It’s time to face the music. 

: Don’t stop dreamin, darlin’. Construct us a better world. Be the purest daydreamer there is. Lord knows we ain’t got to many of those anymore. 

: You want a clear ending. Something you can look at and say, “there’s nothing I could’ve done”. But you need to understand, you won’t usually get those. Sometimes you’ll just get sadness and silence and doors slammed in your face. Learn to create your own closure. 

: I know it’s his birthday and you can not just ignore that exploding feeling in your stomach, but you’re going to have to. I know it’s hard, but I swear it won’t be there this time next year. The months will fly by like paper planes and love will come again. 

: Stop looking back; some things are better off buried. They say only dogs go looking for bones and hell, maybe they’re right. But I promise, the future holds prettier skies and sweeter memories. 

: Forgive yourself for your mistakes. You keep hanging your self on a cross, but baby, nobody deserves that kind of ache. You paid for your sins. Now let go. This is how we grow. 

: Listen, I know you’re scared of all the places you’ve never been before, but you have to explore. Maybe you’ll find a place that you can actually call home.

: Put yourself first. Hold your own damn hands. Make your own altars. If no one is around to say “I love you, baby”, say it yourself. 

: Lately, the world seems like a horrible place and you can almost feel the sky come crashing down around you, but I just want you to know that there is always hope. You just have to know where to look for it.

: Spend time with people who make you feel alive. People who remind you what your laugh sounds like every time you’re with them. People who love with ease. There’s no time for anything less. 

: Not all of us are destined to go to the moon. Some of us are the reasons people get there. Others are the reasons spacemen come back. We all fit in. You are important and please don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. 

[Part 5/12 of the 2016 Series]



Dear April,
You were so good to me. You were all blush and adrenaline rush.

Dear April, 
You hurt me bad. Such a dirty fighter; always kicking me when I was already on my knees.

Dear April,
On the first day, you were sitting on the kitchen counter sipping tea like you knew stories I didn’t. Now that we’re done, the mystery’s gone and I don’t know how I feel about you anymore.

Dear April,
You showed me that rebellion could be soft. That music could be violent. You taught me how to write like I had never had my heart broken. You gave back what December had taken. Thank you for that.

Dear April,
I heard that NASA found a galaxy so small that if you were to stand on the surface of a planet in that galaxy, the night sky would be lit up with a million stars, each of them visible to the naked eye. This month all I do is wish I could there. Which is to say, I think the world looks better when it is ablaze.

Dear April, 
I see you as a little girl running through the rose gardens and losing yourself in the petals, but still remembering the prick of the thorns.

Dear April,
What do I do with all his secrets? All the things he said to me when he was clenching his teeth? The words that fell out of his mouth and searched for asylum in my ribs? The things he said when his chest was heaving and his heart was crumbling? Tell me, April, what do I do?

Dear April, 
It’s exactly one year today. The anniversary of our ruin. The anniversary of the violets and the violence. Maybe someday I’ll say I’m happy for him and actually mean it. Maybe one day he’ll say he forgives me for all the dents I left on his heart. Maybe our someday is already here.

Dear April,
My summer’s like simpler times. Summer like rolling down the fields with flowers in my hair. Summer like mango juice dripping down my chin. Summer like ain’t got no shoes, ain’t got no worries, ain’t got no blues.

Dear April, 
All this forgiving is exhausting. I wish people would just be more gentle. 

Dear April, 
I want to say this is a love poem. I want to say I’ll never forget you. I want to say your name will be tattooed onto the back of my mind. But if we’re being honest, it probably won’t. You were my joyride, but it’s time I get off. 

[Part 4/12 of the 2016 Series]

“Maybe we make it in every universe but this one.”

In one universe, we quit school and move to the Maldives. We work at the local beach shack and have our first kiss with our toes tucked in the sand. Your skin is always bronzed and I never have a bad hair day. 

In another, you are a time traveler. You travel to different ages, but still manage to fall in love with me each time. We never complain about the timing. You never get bored of me. 

In another, we’re neighbours. We watch each other grow. From five, to fifteen. You sneak in through my window when my parents aren’t home. You hold me and it feels all sorts of right. We watch the city come alive and pretend the lights are meant for us. 

Here, we dream ourselves a fantasy. Here, the sky changes colour with your mood and the ocean with mine. The day we meet, the air turns pink and so does the sea. We look at each other again and laugh. Nobody except us knows what happened. 

In which you and I play the lead roles in a rom com, and somewhere between the cameras and flashing lights and the music, we stop acting and the love becomes all too real.

In this one, we have a paint by numbers love story. The red vermillion; one blue, one pink onesie; and a white picket fence. We live in a cottage in the countryside and every day we bring each other dandelions and fall asleep to the sound of the crickets.

Your mother never left. My father didn’t quit his job. We didn’t cut each other out, you didn’t cry yourself to sleep, I never took the fall for anyone. And we never forgot how much we meant to each other. 

I am not as reckless and you are not as paranoid and we are actually fucking good for each other. You don’t leave me in pieces and I don’t leave you exhausted. 

Somewhere, we crash into each other during the apocalypse. The sky is on fire and the entire world has turned to dust. We don’t know how long we have until the smoke fully clouds up our lungs. One night, you come to bed smelling of ash and I stay up trying to beat the flames out of your chest. When morning comes, they find our bodies together; burning like the stars we always wished upon. 

In another universe, love is enough. Love is enough. 



March is the month I ask myself why my mother tongue has the same word for past and ghost. When my past has a pulse, is every tick of the clock just another heartbeat? Will it always haunt me? When I lie down, will I always mistake my body for a ticking time bomb? 

Draft saved 10:42AM


See yesterday I read that Pluto has a sea in the shape of a heart. And that it’s filled with poisonous ice. I wish I didn’t think of you when I heard that. I wish I had never explored the toxic depths of your love to replace your name with lethal in my head. 

Replied 3:36PM

You know I tried to bury us. I tried to bury what we had, but for a long time I couldn’t. Maybe it was because we didn’t have a goodbye. No cause of death. No closure. So baby, listen up. I’m scripting my own happy ending. I’m holding a funeral to mourn what we were. I know it’s going to have to be an empty casket, but that doesn’t matter. This is me promising my poems that they will never have to scream your name again. My metaphors are tired of wrapping themselves around your memory and so am I. Goodbye.

Seen 4:59PM


In march, my sister and I go watching stars again. I feel like I am 10 again and still afraid of being inadequate for the world. This time too, she kisses my forehead again and I feel the sadness leave my body. We watch the constellations fade. She strokes my hair. I fall asleep for the first time in days. Sometimes our guardian angels are closer than we think.

Seen 9:00PM

I’ve got my mother’s paranoia and my father’s impulse. This month they showed me just how lethal they could be. My mouth says the words it shouldn’t have and my heart is restless. My mouth gets trigger happy. My mouth answers before the question is even asked and my heart is just waiting for someone to tell me that it was wrong. My heart always on its toes. Always holding its breath. Always prepared for the fall. It thinks every kiss will eventually become another bruise, another scar, another wound. 

Sent 11:26PM

In the madness of march, I find peace in my friends. It feels like the world is going to rip us apart, and hell maybe it will, but right now, I’m looking at them and they’re looking at me and we’re laughing. Right now, everything is wonderful. And right now, that’s all that matters.

Sent 12:12AM


These days I am all prairie flower under violet skies. Letting the breeze take me where it wants. Our bodies make 300 billion cells in our body everyday, so we’ll never be who we were yesterday again, and I am learning to get used that. Change is coming for me and I am opening my doors.

Sent 2:00AM

This was the month of learning that I don’t always have to be the villain. This was the month of learning that I don’t need to be the saviour either. This was the month of summer rain and winter sunrise. This was the month of bright lights and brighter eyes. This was the month of rot and bloom. This was the month that walked the line of the days I want to remember and days I need to forget.

Error: you can no longer send messages to this person.  

[A/N- Part 3/12 of 2016 Series]


Final Examination Paper, February, 2016. 

Explain the way you look at the pink February skies in 100-150 words. Talk about why you think it’s colour of your guardian angel’s soft, soft wings. Talk about how the rain drops tasted a little like candy cane. Give examples of that time you ran down your apartment slope laughing like you had riots in your lungs. Write a brief note on how your neighbours scowled but you didn’t even stop laughing.

Construct a Venn diagram of all the things that you love about her and everything that makes you have revenge fantasies about her. Show that it is a circle. Try to explain to the examiner why you ever believed that one tangled bunch of thorns could somehow soften another. 

How will you justify your late night texts?
A) Blame the night.
See, maybe it will always take me a full moon to say your name and not make it sound like a battle wound. This night sky makes me remember the way you kissed me goodnight, and the way you left blood between my constellation teeth. I’m not sure which is worse.
B) Blame yourself
. See, I was the fool. My love has always had teeth and I’m sorry I let it devour your heart. Please, I can learn to love on a leash. Please, I can tame this wild heart. 
C) Blame him
. See, you were looking at that picture of him on his Instagram and god, it makes you want to reach through your screen and hold him again. If it weren’t for that pretty little smile of his, your words wouldn’t be bleeding through his phone right now.
D) All of the above
. You always thought February was a mystical month. The odd one. February always had a cloud of mist around it. You still see it as half month; half real, half dream. 

February is the month your best friend decides to come home to herself. See she’s dusting all the covers and smoothing all the wooden edges. Why doesn’t anyone else understand that your best friend bleeds ichor, and while it’s chrome is brighter than orion’s eyes, you’d rather she not bleed at all? 

How many times have you replaced your emotions with equations? How many times have you replaced your feelings for formulae? Is the answer too many? Are you nodding?

Describe your grandfather. Recall the time he showed you his bullet wound and laughed like it was a dandelion seed tickling his skin. Wonder if you should mention the time you caught him staring at the blackhole in his knee and despising it for taking everything away.
Describe the way you miss him. You found out at 4 am. You tried convincing yourself it was a nightmare. You tried so hard to go back to sleep but when you finally did you cried so damn hard you woke your sister up. You will miss him in the smell of pumpkin seeds and in the warmth of the sun and while looking at your toes that always looked a little too much like his. 

In February, the girl asks you if your poems are paper poems or spoken poems. You say neither. You say mine are handprints on wet paint. Mine are footprints in wet cement. You say your poetry is neither a fleeting word nor a paper plane that can fly away. You say your poetry is concrete, constant, complete. Do you believe yourself?

Write a letter to everyone you are leaving behind, or the other way around, or both. (Keywords- Our flame will not be smothered. We are a runway that never ends. We are royalty, my loves, and this will not be the end of our reign.)

This is the month you realise you will be okay. True or false? 

[A/N- Part 2/12 of 2016 series]

“Hometown blues”

See, baby, I’m a city girl born and raised. Got a skyscraper for a body and a windowpane for a heart. My ribs are pavements that too many people have walked all over just so they can get where they want to. This city is the only place I’ve ever known so I wonder if this town is really home. This town tucked away in some corner of the world, this town where time slows down, this town where nothing ever moves. 

When they ask me to describe it, i tell ’em, my hometown sounds like a mouthful of contradictions. 

My hometown got heat of hell. Got eyes like a sinner. Watching your family peeling your cousin away from the boy he loves and keeping its mouth shut. This static town is it’s own idea of purgatory.  

(But my hometown got glow of heaven. Got heart of Saint. Temples at every corner and blessing falling from the trees.)

The streets are always empty.

(But the people here never really learnt what the word empty means.)

This is a place where everyone is always lost

(but no one can ever be lost.)

The sky rips itself open in its sorrow. It always raining sadness.

(but my hometown is a study in the art of laughing too hard.)

I don’t know what to make of this.

(but I also do, oh god, I do.)

When they ask me what it is that makes me drive 20 hours just to catch a glimpse of this town that no one’s heard of, I tell ’em every single story. 

The people here, they’re always watching the sunset. They say, city girl, the sun sets in the city faster. City girl, the sun runs from the blinding city lights and comes on vacation here. Here, the sun doesn’t drown in the horizon, it melts. Maybe it’s the sunlight or the sunflower fields but here is where you really feel warm; here is where you feel that you’re really walking in the right direction.

There was this dog with a missing tail and he chased me down the street. Everyone cursed that damn dog everyday. But I swear when he got sick, everyone prayed for him. Everyone came out and cried. Everyone stroked his mud soaked fur without thinking of anything else.

Your grandmother tells you stories of her parents. She says, “5 years before my daddy died, my parents stopped talking. They weren’t in different places, oh no, but they still had so much distance in between ’em it would probably take you forever to run through it. The day after daddy died, mumma left too. I was right next to her. And to this day, I swear, I heard her say, “I’m coming, darling. I’m coming.” The women in this family never learnt to unlove.” She half-laughs, half-sighs. I think she looked at me and prayed that this goddamn curse skipped a generation. I don’t have the heart to tell her that it hasn’t. 

The river is dizzy from all the pebbles skipped on it. The night you jumped into it with your brother’s best friend still makes your lungs fill with freshwater, and your heart with memories. This is the river that baptized you in the religion of this town. It dipped you in holy and brought you to your own Elysium. You never felt more safe than you did sitting on that river bed. You never felt more lovely than you did there. 

When they ask me why I barely remember my hometown, say there is dust on things I never thought there would be; like the jukebox my uncle used to fix every Monday and then dance along to, like the candles in front of the temple, like the grandfather clock, like my grandfather’s clock. 

When they ask me why hometown barely remembers me, say “I am no longer that soft girl. I are now a blood lipped, cement filled, fire-burning girl. My edges are sharper and I don’t resemble anything that could possibly be golden enough to have ever lived here.

My hometown don’t got no sea-side view; no soft sound of waves, no sand between your toes, no salt on your tongue. But it’s got the gentle view; got gravel till your ankles, got constant hum of children flying kites, got sugar tasting raindrops on your tongue. 
See, baby I’m a city girl born and raised. I’ve got pilot lights for eyes and my heart’s always trapped in the barbed wire. This town’s got dandelion kisses and smooth winds and buses that don’t seem to go anywhere, but I love it. I love it, top to bottom. From the abandoned rose gardens to every broken wooden staircase. The city may have my heart, but this town’s got my soul.

When I leave, I try to match my heartbeat to the wind on the roof at 1am. Try to remember what the world looked like from the bottom of the river. So I etched the colour of the purple glow of the streetlights onto my skin. So I tried turning my body into a compass, with a heart that only points here. 

So I realised it always was. 


January screams fight.

This one is revival. This one is my winter sunrise. This is me gritting my teeth and stomping my feet. I will rip the ground, and rise. The curtains are drawn and the light is breaking through. Repeat after me, I am going to dance; dream; dive. Repeat after me, I am fierce; fast; free. Repeat after me, this is rebirth; revelation; revolution.

January sent love.

You turned my body into a burning building and I never even thought of leaving. I build a home out of the flames and slept amongst the smoke. So when a boy with forests for eyes, offers me his heart as fire blanket, I do not take it. You had matchsticks for fingers and I still crave the slow burn of my skin when you touched me. I do not want anyone to choke on the ashes of our love. I do not want anyone to burn with me.

January meant nostalgia

Some names sound like words my tongue has forgotten how to pronounce and I am still learning how to deal with that. This month I play archeologist. I dig up old letters, old messages, old photographs. Excavation has me holding on to the past in the dust of fading memories. I am left crying in the middle of my own dirt storm. I went looking for gold, but all I found were bones. 

January brings death.

Death is no longer some mysterious hooded figure when I meet him for the third time. He laughs and it sounds like he is swallowing the words left unsaid. He eclipses the light, and leaves no apologies. I am tired of watching him run into people in my school hallways. I wonder if he is tired of it too. 

January was answers

It was understanding that sometimes, you kiss your mother with the mouth that bites. Sometimes, i hold my sister with skin that wants to burn. Sometimes, sometimes, we build cathedrals out of hands that crave ruin. But I promise you, darling. You are not nearly as monstrous as you think you are. 
[A/N- Part 1/12 of the 2016 series. ]