Dark day

Some days

are one of those days.

Dark grey.

You are alone.

Every face on the street

a potential threat

an enemy.

Reality swoops in a spiral

down

down.

Hope is but a distant dream.

These days

I beg you

to breathe

whether it’s rain

damp earth, green grass

dry leaves and crisp air

or rich flowers and golden hair

breathe all in.

I beg you

to ignore the news

the headlines blaring

glaring – close your eyes

turn your music up high

ask for a hug

or give one

give ten

give smiles

buy flowers

drink water

pause.

Continue to love

love blindly

love wildly

love ’til you radiate love

love ’til you are love

and suddenly

it’s not really

one of those days

anymore.

 

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A Thai Abroad

It’s a tough time being a Thai abroad.

Your grief is indescribable to your friends.

Your loneliness like an empty street on a dark night where all the shops are bright and even the concrete shines with dew.

 

But how do you explain a love so old you don’t recall a day alive without it?

There wasn’t one single moment that you were convinced, won over.

It’s just there.

It’s oxygen in your veins.

It’s the rain you were born with.

It’s the song of your childhood.

It’s the orange-gold sun washing over your street, your home.

It’s in every grain of rice, every book you read, every movie you saw – you would stand, teary-eyed, as your chest squeezed with that love.

It’s that sweetness on your tongue when you call his name: Nai Luang – like sugarcane.

 

Not many others have been sons and daughters of this love.

It’s a tough time being a Thai abroad.

But I’m grateful that I can always follow this pain home.

To be happy

O the trial of being happy

It sucks my bones dry

My spine creaks at its weight

My fingers ache from gripping

Holding on

This guise I wear

O the trouble of being happy

There’s no room to breathe

This fight with gravity

Below me

The whirl of sadness is comforting

A hurricane of blue

Open arms inviting me in

Rest now, child

Your fight is over

Losing has its pleasure

Close your eyes, child

Let your tears fall

Let your skin open

Let yourself fall

Curse

If I could claw out of my flesh

Shed my skin

Leave my ribcage behind

This prison assigned

Without a question asked

If I could be free

Of these eyes, this nose,

These cheeks, this mouth

This hurricane mind

This lava chest

There’s nothing I hate more

Than this nodding, plodding non-choice

I did not ask to be born

And if you will not let me fly

Then

Let me die

#GrowingUpAsian

Maybe it’s in the slant of my eyes

My skin the colour of rain-soaked soil

That hides a bruise so well

Maybe it’s in my cheekbones

Two mountains tall round balls

That make good targets so

Maybe it’s in my thick black hair

That seems to absorb your stares

Your curious glares, your poison

Maybe it’s in my size

That makes you feel more wise

To teach me my history

Maybe it’s in my lips

Taught to stay small, sealed

As the cut heals

Designed for biting stopping

Words from pouring out

Pouring out

When you say

I’ve got yellow fever How much did she cost You speak good English You’re only here because you earn more here than Thailand Do you send money back home Tight Asian school girls Go back to China Town I love Asian girls Oh I know Thailand it’s lady boys and prostitutes Do you ride elephants to school You’re so short and cute Fucking immigrants no but you’re the good kind Can you hook me up with some of your Asian friends You should be grateful my country lets you stay here Do you eat dogs You’re Thai do you speak Taiwanese Love you long time

Maybe

But maybe it’s in my blood my bones

That this earth is my home my throne

And after your poison your cut your bruise your lies

My eyes are wide and my chin kept high

I will not roll over and die

I will not roll over and die

A tribute to Jan

He came to me,

suddenly, unapologetically,

said, ‘You’re mine.’

There was no courting,

no flirtatious glances

across the room.

Sounds were sucked

out of the world,

colours dimmed.

.

My insides wept,

pleaded and begged,

‘Not me. Why not

the next girl in

the next room,

the redhead down

the hall? Why me?’

.

But I looked in his

blackhole eyes,

stared into his

sunstorm grin,

said, ‘Fuck off.’

He only smiled,

terrifyingly,

charmingly.

.

The first thing

he took

was my strength.

A step out of bed,

the floor pulled out

from under,

an endless fall,

time seemed to linger

to watch me fall.

I broke a hip.

.

The next

he took

was my hair.

Locks like

wavy autumn leaves

littered the bathtub

the pillowcase

the kitchen floor.

.

Then

he took

my time.

Brunches with my

daughters, dinners

with my lover,

afternoons in the golden sun,

Christmases, weddings,

birthdays.

.

He then became bold.

Moved on

to my plans, my hopes,

my appetite

for flavours and for life,

my dreams

became shattered

reflections, harvested

through fragmented

hours of the night,

my smile,

damn how I missed my smile.

.

But for all that he took,

he knew I wasn’t his,

not yet,

not truly,

he knew I wasn’t his

until I decided so,

and I hadn’t decided so,

until I finally decided so.

Until I finally

took his hand

and let go of my lover’s,

my daughters’, my life’s.

.

But I sure as hell made him wait.